Oswald Peraza back on Yankees roster as Giancarlo Stanton is injured

Oswald Peraza of the the New York Yankees in pinstripes. Inset is Giancarlo Stanton.
John Allen
Monday April 17, 2023

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The Yankees called up Oswald Peraza on Sunday after moving Giancarlo Stanton to 10-day IL for a hamstring injury. He was the organization’s No. 3 prospect this spring and lost to Anthony Volpe narrowly in the shortstop battle. Oswald Peraza was batting .290 and has 11 hits in nine games for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre until his recall.

Is it a big opportunity for Oswald Pereza?

Since Stanton is on the injured list, the Yankees called up Oswald Peraza, who is their best shortstop prospect after Anthony Volpe. Though this has opened another window of opportunity for him, it may not be an extensive time with the big league team. Josh Donaldson, who has been on the injured list with a hamstring strain, is due back later this week and this may impact Oswald Peraza.

Since Stanton is out, the Yankees will use a lot of different players at DH and in the right field. Since the Yankees are worried about LeMahieu‘s injury, it would be smart to give him time at DH to spread out his work. Franchy Cordero could play more in the right field and as the DH, especially against right-handed batters. Willie Calhoun is in the same boat.

Oswaldo Cabrera started in the right field and Aaron Hicks had a chance to play in left field in the absence of Stanton. The point is that Stanton’s injury could have an effect on the rest of the Yankees’ roster, giving several players, including Oswald Peraza, a chance to show what they can do.

In 2022, Oswald Peraza played 18 games for the Yankees in the major leagues for the first time. The infielder hit .306 and had 15 hits, including three doubles, in 57 plate appearances.

Aaron Boone, the manager of the Yankees, said that Oswald Peraza could play at either the shortstop or second base. But because third baseman Donaldson is likely to return in a few days, Oswald Peraza may only be in the major leagues for a short time because the 26-man roster is already full.

Last year, Oswald Peraza joined the Yankees late in the season and hit .306 (15-for-49) in 18 games. The 22-year-old plays shortstop in Triple-A and is doing well. He lost the Yankees MLB shortstop competition to Anthony Volpe at the spring camp.

“Of course, it was disappointing for me after spring training,” Oswald Peraza told ESPN. “I felt that I failed at my goal, of making the team for Opening Day. But now that I am here, I will help the team in whichever way I can. It is very disappointing to see Stanton get injured, especially knowing what he can do for us at the plate. In the meantime, we will do our best without him and hope he comes back soon.”

Oswald Peraza is a strong candidate for Yankees' shortstop position.
USA TODAY Sports

Oswald Peraza will turn 23 in June. He made his big league debut with the Yankees last season. In 18 games, he hit .306/.404/.429 and played good defense at both second base and shortstop, giving him a wRC+ of 146. During spring training, Oswald Peraza was considered for the Yankees’ starting shortstop job. He is a consensus top-100 prospect, and he has had 502 at-bats at the Triple-A level over the past three years, where he has hit .263/.331/.434 in that time.

Giancarlo Stanton’s injury blow to Yankees

After hitting a two-run double in the seventh inning on April 15, the outfielder and designated hitter was replaced by a pinch-runner. Over the past few years, the Yankees have been too careful with Stanton’s workload, especially in the outfield. In the spring camp, Boone was hopeful of getting Stanton as an outfielder in 40 to 60 games and as the designated hitter for the rest of the time.

But with another soft tissue injury to his lower half, it will be interesting to see how much, if at all, Stanton plays in the outfield when he comes back. When Stanton came back from his injuries in the second half of last season, the Yankees didn’t use him in the outfield at all.

The slugger said he felt the injury when he was slowing down into second base after hitting a double. When he felt a tweak in his hamstring on Saturday, Stanton signaled about it to the Yankees dugout. Manager Aaron Boone said that Stanton will get an MRI on Sunday afternoon.

“He was moving around OK after the game but he definitely felt like even before getting the MRI (that) it was an IL stint,” Boone said. “We’ll see what we’ve got today.”

Dillon Lawson, the hitting coach for the Yankees, was optimistic that Stanton was on track for a great season before he got hurt.

“I know what he’s doing right now and it’s pretty similar to what he did in the first half last year,” Lawson said. “If he can sustain what he did in the first half last year — if he can play 130, 135 games, whatever it is if he can do the first half over both halves, I know what he’s capable of.”

In the first half of the 2022 season, Stanton hit 24 home runs and had an OPS of .835. Stanton, who is 33, has hit .269 in 13 games, with four home runs and 11 RBIs. The five-time All-Star and former National League MVP has hit .264/.353/.537 in his career, with 382 home runs and 982 RBIs in 1,447 games with the Marlins (2010–2017) and Yankees.

Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Stanton remains injury prone

Stanton has been an All-Star five times, but he has missed a lot of games in the past because of hamstring injuries. So far this season, he had played 13 games and was hitting. 269 and had hit four home runs, giving him 11 RBIs, the most on the Yankees.

Stanton has been on the injured list every season since 2011, except for 2014, 2017, and 2018. This is his fifth straight season with an injury. In 2022, tendinitis forced him to remain on the injured list for more than a month. When he was out, the Yankees went 11–17. Stanton missed nine games early in the 2022 season because of inflammation in his right ankle. Stanton played in 139 games in 2021, which was his most since 2018 but also the year he missed time with a left quadriceps strain.

This is the seventh time in the last five years that Stanton has been put on the injured list. Most of Stanton’s time on the IL has been due to injuries to soft tissues in his lower half. During the 2020 season, which was cut short by a pandemic, the slugger hurt his left hamstring in a different way and was out for just under a month. Stanton sat out for two weeks in 2021 because of a left quad strain. Last year, he was out for a short time with a right calf strain and then out for a month with left Achilles tendinitis.

According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Stanton may miss 4 to 6 weeks after his MRI came up with a Grade 2 strain.

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