Insider claims Yankees pick Pereza as Opening Day shortstop

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ESPN’s Buster Olney has claimed to have insider information about the Yankees shortstop position going to Oswald Peraza on their Opening Day. He revealed this during the “Baseball Tonight” podcast. However, the competition seems to be on for the shortstop position in the absence of any official word from the Yankees.

“Spending two days with the Yankees over the weekend on Friday and Saturday,” Olney told. “I walked away basically having heard that Peraza is going to be the shortstop – unless something completely unforeseen happens – with IKF potentially being on the bench at the start of the year. Maybe some team steps up and makes a trade for (Kiner-Falefa), and Volpe probably will start in the minor leagues.”

Even though Opening Day is three weeks away and the Yankees have to decide on their 26-man roster by Thursday, it looks like they are going to let the shortstop battle between Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe play out.

Peraza is 2-for-9 in four Grapefruit League games and remains a top contender for the Yankees shortstop position. In Friday night’s game, Kiner-Falefa is only 1 for 9 and made a bad mistake. Anthony Volpe has been great on both sides of the ball. In six games, he has hit .353 and had an OPS of 1.097. On defense, he has also shown the leather more than once.

In 18 games during the Yankees’ regular season, Peraza hit .306 and had an OPS of .833. Last season, he played in his first 21 big league games, including the postseason. Even though his lower leg is hurting, the Yankees are not looking it as a big deal. It sounds like he’s ahead of others for becoming the Yankees shortstop right now. He is expected to be the best choice for the defense at short.

Peraza played on Saturday, but he hasn’t been on the field for the last two games in a row. Yankees shortstop Oswald Peraza is hurt in his lower leg, according to manager Aaron Boone, who said this after his team beat the Pirates 9-2 at Steinbrenner Field on Monday night. Peraza hurt his leg while running through the first base during the win over the Pirates on Thursday in Bradenton. The good news is that Peraza is likely to be back when the Yankees play the Red Sox in Tampa on Thursday.

But Yankees shortstop competition is officially on

But, officially, two weeks into the spring training, the Yankees shortstop competition is still far from being over. But it’s not close to being decided, at least not officially.

Manager Aaron Boone said Monday, “Right now looking at it, as we get closer and closer and we start having those debates or conversations in more earnest, we’ll do that…but in earnest, they won’t really happen for another couple weeks.”

Anthony Volpe is another strong contender to become the Yankees shortstop. The 21-year-old has played in six games, starting three of them at shortstop, two at second base, and one as a defensive replacement. He has hit 6-for-17 (.353), has an OPS of 1.097, and has stolen three bases. So far in the Grapefruit League, Volpe has made an impact with both his bat and his glove. But he only played 22 games at the Triple-A level, so he will probably start the season in the minors.

Peraza has started three games as Yankees shortstop and one at second base, going 2-for-9 (.222) with an OPS of .639 and stealing one base. His status is worth keeping an eye on, though, since he “tweaked” his lower left leg last Thursday while stepping on first base.

He played again on Saturday, and he should be back in the lineup on Thursday. If the problem keeps going, though, it could throw a wrench into the Yankees shortstop competition. Kiner-Falefa, on the other hand, has started all five of his games at shortstop, making one error in the field. He is 1-for-9 (.111) with an OPS of.472 and has stolen one base.

Kiner-Falefa, a likely trade possibility, is expected to play second base later this week.

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