The New York Yankees made a significant change to their infield plans promoting Anthony Volpe to feature as the team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants. It leaves a major question regarding Oswald Peraza, who is being sent back to Triple-A Scranton to continue honing his skills and developing his qualities.
Peraza took the demotion in stride, tipping his hat to Volpe and accepting defeat based on his offensive performance this spring. The 22-year-old enjoyed 42 spring at-bats, hitting .190 with a .306 OBP and .616 OPS. He posted eight hits and one homer over that sample size, while Volpe dominated with every opportunity he had.
“When you look at the results that (Volpe) has gotten … really, really good results,” Peraza said. “Everybody has seen it. He has a bright future ahead of him. I can see it. Everybody can see it.”
However, this doesn’t mean Peraza is no longer a part of the Yankees’ future plans, in fact, there is a strategy they could implement to prepare for the future at third base.
“As you know, we entered camp with an open competition,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “We said it publicly and we said it privately. The obvious explanation point here is Anthony Volpe came into camp and took this position. It was well played.”
The Yankees can still get the most out of Oswald Peraza:
The Yankees have an opportunity to keep Gleyber Torres, a player who enjoyed a bounce-back 2022 season, hitting .257 with a .310 OBP and posting 24 homers with 76 RBIs. He currently features as the Yankees’ starting second baseman, and with Peraza heading back to the minors, his job is all the secured.
- The Yankees should ride the hot hand in left field
- Yankees could trade or extend starting infielder
- The Yankees have solved the Clay Holmes problem
With that being the case, the Yankees should start feeding him reps on the hot corner, a position he’s never played but certainly has the defensive quality for. This allows the team to get Volpe experience at the major league level, continue rolling with Torres, who they still have a year of control over post-2023, and prepare for the future on the hot corner when Josh Donaldson’s contract inevitably expires.
Donaldson has been hitting well toward the end of spring, featuring a revised batting stance. Unless Donaldson struggles considerably and the Yankees want to pull Peraza up prematurely, I don’t think we will see him for quite a while.
Unless injuries begin to arise and DJ LeMahieu is forced to miss any time, Peraza should be getting everyday reps at third, at the very least seeing if he’s capable of playing the position. That may be his next best opportunity in the MLB unless the Yankees like to trade him and capitalize on his value now.