After some early bumps in the road, things are going well for the Yankees right now. As they prepare to face the Dodgers, the big-league roster is getting much closer to full strength. Should an opportunity arise, though, it looks like Oswald Peraza is making his case to rejoin New York in the big leagues.
At the end of April, the Yankees were hovering around .500 while occupying the basement of the American League East. They’re currently in third place, but a solid month of May has them just six games back of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 34-24 record.
Peraza seemed to be the young player with an inside track at winning the Yankees’ starting shortstop job out of Spring Training. But, Anthony Volpe played so well that New York couldn’t justify sending him back to Triple-A. So, it was instead Peraza who got a ticket to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Volpe has enjoyed some big moments, but overall, it’s been a rough go for the rookie at the plate. Through 224 plate appearances, he’s slashing .194/.272/.358 with eight home runs, 24 RBI, 23 runs scored, and 13 steals. It doesn’t seem like he’s in danger of getting sent back to the minors. As the Yankees initially made this decision, you’d have to imagine they talked through this exact scenario. If he’s going to start the year in the big leagues, he’s likely not going anywhere.
Peraza has racked up 38 plate appearances with the Yankees so far this year, leading to a .188/.316/.219 line. But, he’s absolutely crushing in Triple-A. In just 108 trips to the plate in Scranton, he’s hitting .340/.389/.670 with 10 home runs and 20 RBI. A lot of those dingers have come recently, too:
Oswald Peraza now has seven home runs in his last eight games 🤯
He has a .351 batting average with a 1.091 OPS in 35 Triple-A games this year pic.twitter.com/FLOYwzJNn8
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) June 1, 2023
That’s one way to wait for your next opportunity in the big leagues, right? Before getting promoted to the Bronx in 2022, Peraza hit 19 home runs in 429 plate appearances. So, it certainly seems like he doesn’t have much left to prove in the minor leagues.
But of course, the way the Yankees’ roster is constructed will make getting promoted difficult. Between Volpe, Josh Donaldson, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, there are a lot of mouths to feed in the infield.
New York is obviously just one injury away from having to recall Peraza anyways. This team has been bitten by the injury bug quite consistently, so that’s a very real possibility. But as we creep toward summer, the trade deadline could provide an interesting opportunity for Brian Cashman.
Maybe this is a chance to see if a team is willing to trade for Torres in exchange for some pitching at the deadline (like New York tried to do last summer). The Yankees have been reportedly trying to find a suitor for one of their infielders since the winter, so you’d have to think that’s still something Cashman and Co. are thinking about.
Either way, Peraza will be ready for his next chance. And while he’s waiting, the shortstop is terrorizing opposing pitchers in Triple-A.