MLB Photos via USA Today Sports

In case you missed it, the Yankees are calling up shortstop Oswald Peraza.

What’s even more significant, however, is why Peraza is getting the call. This isn’t just some willy-nilly promotion for the last month of the season. After holding onto him at the trade deadline, it’s clear the Yankees very much like Peraza and what he brings to the team.

It’s certainly understandable after a career season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Peraza hit .259 with 19 home runs, 50 RBI and 33 stolen bases. The 22-year-old also posted a solid .778 OPS and can hold his own in the field.

Granted, it’s a different era now and September rosters no longer expand to 40 players. No more is it an opportunity for the youngsters to get some innings in the bigs and for the front office to assess. No, in the case of Peraza, this is very much an audition.

Think about it. Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s bat does nothing and his fielding is getting suspect. He has a -2 outs above average (OAA), not good no matter how Aaron Boone tries to spin the Yankees’ internal numbers. Similarly, Gleyber Torres has regressed into bad hitting habits again and hasn’t been special with his glove at second base either.


So what does all of this mean for Peraza? Well, for one thing, the Yankees have an important series with the second-place Rays this weekend. Peraza should see action almost immediately, particularly after IKF’s costly error at shortstop in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Angels.

It’s also worth noting that Torres was almost traded himself at the deadline. It’s not a shock, since he hasn’t produced and is expendable with two arbitration years left. Peraza can also play second base and so can super-utilityman Oswaldo Cabrera.

This call to the show isn’t just an opportunity for Peraza, but maybe also an audition. His bat has come a long way and he’s always been viewed as a glove-first infielder. If he performs well, then general manager Brian Cashman can probably trade one or both of Torres and Kiner-Falefa and stick Peraza at shortstop.

Then, once fellow shortstop Anthony Volpe is ready in another year, Peraza can switch to second base. If management proves unsatisfied after a month, trade talks can always be revisited. Remember, he was in high demand as the deadline approached this year.

Not to mention, maybe Peraza performs so well that Volpe, the Jersey-born local hero, gets traded away.

The stage is thus set. The Yankees had a horrible August and almost have no choice but to have a strong September. Peraza is set up for long-term success. Now, it’s just a matter of how he handles it.

More on ESNY:
Greg Schiano’s 3rd season at Rutgers will be defined outside the lines
Yankees call up SS prospect Oswald Peraza
Giants cut starting LB Blake Martinez in surprise move
• Three keys to Mets’ Mark Canha enjoying a huge August
Knicks strike out on Donovan Mitchell deal; Jazz trade him to Cavaliers

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Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.