Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Yankees roster depth takes injury hit with Oswald Peraza out at least 6-8 weeks due to shoulder strain

The New York Yankees will be without infielder Oswald Peraza for the start of the 2024 season after he suffered a subscapularis strain in his right shoulder. Manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Saturday, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, that Peraza will be shut down from baseball activities for 6-8 weeks. Factor in additional time for Peraza to return to game shape, and he may not be available until mid-to-late May.

Peraza, 23, had a miserable season at the plate last year. He batted .191/.267/.272 (49 OPS+) with two home runs and four stolen bases in 52 games. His contributions were estimated to have landed on the wrong side of replacement level, according to the calculations hosted at Baseball-Reference.

Formerly a top prospect, Peraza was nevertheless projected to be part of the Yankees bench heading into the season, alongside backup catcher Jose Trevino, outfielder Trent Grisham, and fellow utility option Oswaldo Cabrera

It’s unclear who the Yankees will turn to in Peraza’s absence. Jorbit Vivas and Jahmai Jones, both obtained over the offseason, are the candidates on the 40-player roster. Vivas struggled in his introduction to Triple-A last season, however, and Jones doesn’t profile as a legitimate backup shortstop. The Yankees have a few notable non-roster invitees who could theoretically benefit, including Josh VanMeter, Jeter Downs, and Kevin Smith. VanMeter has had the most big-league success, albeit in limited amounts.

The Yankees could also make another roster move over the coming weeks. Veterans classified as XX(B) free agents — essentially true free agents who signed minor-league deals — are able to opt-out of their contracts ahead of Opening Day in pursuit of big-league jobs elsewhere. It’s unclear who, precisely, will take advantage of that ability, but some names to keep in mind include Nick Ahmed and Kevin Newman.

The Yankees were the third-most injured team in the majors last season, racking up more than 2,000 days lost to injury, according to Spotrac. Only the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers had more time lost.

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