Oswald Peraza trains in Tampa, Yankees say ‘a couple of weeks’ away to return

Oswald Peraza of the New York Yankees
Michael Bennington
Monday April 22, 2024

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Yankees’ Oswald Peraza began the season on the injured list. His shoulder injury has prevented him from seeing any game action for the Yankees so far this season. MLB.com insider Bryan Hoch quoted the team manager Aaron Boone to report that Oswald Peraza’s return is still several weeks away, with a minor league rehab assignment not even on the immediate horizon.

As reported by Hoch, Boone confirmed that Oswald Peraza’s right shoulder issue will keep him out of minor league games for at least another couple of weeks. Although the ex-top prospect has been able to participate in hitting and throwing drills at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, his return to the major league roster appears unlikely for at least a month.

While these glimpses of progress are encouraging, Oswald Peraza appears to need additional time to heal completely. Once he begins a minor league rehab assignment, he’ll need further at-bats to regain game sharpness before rejoining the major league club.

Oswald Peraza was expected to play a significant role for the Yankees this season. His injury casts a cloud of uncertainty over his immediate future, but the hope remains that he can recover swiftly and contribute to the team’s success soon.

Oswald Peraza’s absence and the Yankees’ infield plans

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While Oswald Peraza’s shoulder injury undoubtedly impacts the Yankees’ immediate depth, it also raises questions about his long-term role with the team.

Despite a potential opportunity on the Yankees’ bench due to a lack of proven options, Oswald Peraza’s struggles in spring training – an 0-for-7 start with four strikeouts – fueled concerns about his readiness for consistent playing time at the major league level.

Even before the injury, Oswald Peraza’s path to regular at-bats appeared limited. The established presence of Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe, and DJ LeMahieu meant he would likely rely on LeMahieu receiving occasional rest days or succumbing to injury to see significant playing time.

Now, with the shoulder strain sidelining him for up to two months, the Yankees get more time to explore alternative solutions for their infield depth. This delay also casts a shadow over Oswald Peraza’s development trajectory. For the second consecutive year, his progress will be hampered by injury, which stands in stark contrast to earlier expectations of him becoming a key contributor in short order.

Oswald Peraza’s future with the Yankees remains uncertain. While he still possesses considerable talent, the organization will be closely monitoring his recovery and re-evaluation process to determine how he fits into their long-term plans moving forward.

Peraza’s injury impact may be limited

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The news of Oswald Peraza’s shoulder injury highlights a pre-existing concern for the Yankees: their infield depth. While his absence weakens their immediate options, it also exposes a question mark surrounding his long-term role with the team.

Prior to the injury news, the Yankees extending contract offers to Kiké Hernandez (before his signing with the Dodgers) and Amed Rosario (before his deal with the Rays) hinted at a potential shift in their plans. This suggests that Oswald Peraza may not have fully convinced the front office of his readiness for consistent playing time at the major league level.

His limited opportunities in 2023 did little to dispel these doubts. Despite solid defensive play, his lackluster .191 batting average and .539 OPS in 52 games fell short of expectations. Furthermore, his performance translated to a negative impact on the team’s win-loss record, with a -0.7 WAR.

Looking at the Yankees’ infield options, Oswald Peraza’s position becomes less clear-cut. While his minor league track record, including a previous top-100 prospect ranking, showcased potential, the past year and a half haven’t seen significant development. His struggles raised questions about his ability to handle consistent playing time in the majors, which is crucial for his growth.

The Yankees’ pursuit of alternatives like Hernandez and Rosario suggests Oswald Peraza may have been viewed as less essential. With a crowded 40-man roster, the team seemed to be exploring other paths for their infield depth. In this context, Peraza’s injury appears almost inevitable.

However, while the Yankees are undoubtedly disappointed with Oswald Peraza’s setback, the impact on both the Opening Day roster and the overall 2024 season might be less significant than initially perceived. The team was already seeking additional options, and his struggles had cast doubt on his immediate contribution potential.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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