After multiple injuries to veteran infielder Josh Donaldson, the New York Yankees have finally promoted prospect Oswald Peraza.
Peraza’s Early Experience with the Yankees
Earlier in the season, Peraza spent a few weeks with the Yankees but was sent back to the minors on May 3, after an extra-innings victory over the Cleveland Guardians. While he didn’t have an opportunity to bat, he managed to steal a base, highlighting his potential offensive value.
Nevertheless, the Yankees’ management chose to provide their veteran players with opportunities at third base, despite Donaldson being sidelined with a hamstring injury. This decision resulted in Peraza spending the following weeks with Triple-A Scranton, where he delivered a strong performance. He hit .261 with a .352 OBP, including 12 home runs, 28 RBIs, 11 stolen bases, and a 108 wRC+.
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Questioning the Yankees’ Roster Decisions
Many baseball observers argued that Peraza was ready to be called up and take on an everyday role for the Yankees. However, the team persisted with their struggling veterans, who failed to improve their performances leading up to the All-Star break.
Peraza, 23, boasts potential Gold Glove defense and commendable hit tools, including underappreciated power and consistent contact. Nevertheless, it took a second injury to Donaldson, a torn calf muscle that could end his season, to convince the Bombers to give Peraza another shot.
Peraza’s Potential Unveiled
In his first game back, Peraza had just one at-bat but managed a hit, an RBI, and a stolen base. In a subsequent extra-innings loss to the Los Angeles Angels, he garnered a hit, scored a run, and walked four times across five at-bats, stealing another base in the process. Despite the limited sample size, he has already posted a .409 OBP this season, walking more times in one game than Harrison Bader has in two months.
A Delayed Decision
The truth is, Peraza should have been given a starting role weeks ago when the Yankees were struggling. However, the team’s management continued to believe that Donaldson could turn his season around, despite clear signs that he was past his prime and other veterans were failing to make an impact.
Unfortunately, the Yankees often view relying on younger players as a backward step. Many successful teams promote their young prospects to the MLB to continue their development, even during winning seasons. The Yankees’ reluctance to do this amidst a slump raises questions about their management decisions.