The Yankees‘ “process” is just never satisfying. It doesn’t help that the fanbase is impatient and demands immediate and consistent results, but New York’s front office frequently upsets the apple cart by delaying timelines of talented prospects, making questionable roster moves, and mishandling injury situations.
The latest such discussion — outside of the decision to option Ron Marinaccio and Giancarlo Stanton’s extended time on the shelf because of poor oversight — surrounds top prospect Oswald Peraza, who is at Triple-A right now slugging home runs and swiping bags, seemingly ready for a big-league promotion at any moment.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who was acquired in the offseason to be the team’s everyday shortstop despite not being a true shortstop, has drawn the ire of the fanbase for his weak contact, questionable defense on routine plays, and, most recently baserunning gaffes. Whether you agree or not, it’s very much an argument in Yankee Land.
That’s made the calls to promote Peraza even louder, but it’s not something the Yankees have in the cards at the moment, per manager Aaron Boone, who spoke on the matter Thursday during the team’s off day.
But the most frustrating aspect of the Yankees’ decision making is that fans never get a legitimate answer to their questions, and Boone once again served as the mouthpiece for the front office here (it would seem).
Yankees not calling up Oswald Peraza shows they need an organizational shift
Now, a quick counterpoint to all of this before the main sentiment reigns supreme: Peraza is only hitting .258 with a .772 OPS at Triple-A this season. He’s made seven errors in 75 games at shortstop and made 10 last year in 101 games. When his bat is “on,” it looks impressive. But it clearly hasn’t been dominant this year and it would seem his defense still needs work.
OK, back to the real conversation. Not every prospect’s journey is linear! You can’t rely on every single player in the farm system to burnish their skills spectacularly to the point where there’s no argument not to call that player up. If that were the case, MLB rosters would be incomplete.
Just look at what the Dodgers and Braves have done this year, if the Yankees are to compare themselves to two contenders.
The Dodgers have brought up various young talents such as starter Ryan Pepiot, third baseman Miguel Vargas and outfielder James Outman already this year, with Pepiot being featured the most. Pepiot has made 26 starts at Triple-A over the last two years, Vargas has been there for 96 total games (just from this year), and Outman has only seen 24 games at OKC. Were they “no doubt” ready for their MLB debuts? Not exactly!
Pepiot struggled mightily at Triple-A last year and Outman has seen a big dip in his numbers after getting the bump to that level this year. Vargas has been the only option who seemed like a surefire call-up. Did it matter, though? Nope. All have made positive MLB impacts, whether they remained with the team or got sent back down.
And how about the Braves? On Wednesday, they called up top shortstop prospect Vaughn Grissom, WHO ONLY HAS 22 GAMES AT DOUBLE-A UNDER HIS BELT as his highest experience. What did he do in his MLB debut? Oh, destroyed the Boston Red Sox? That’s cool.
When’s the last time the Yankees did something like this with one of their top prospects, especially when they were dealing with injuries or uninspiring play? Clint Frazier? Before they kept jerking him around before the relationship soured and he was released? Deivi Garcia? Before they used him as an opener and subsequently ruined his career? Keep looking farther and farther back … you won’t find anything notable or recent.
They were forced to bring up Luis Gil last year. The same goes for Clarke Schmidt, who was wildly misused in 2020 and still isn’t properly used in 2022. Then there’s Marinaccio, who’s dominated at the MLB level in his debut season this year only to be optioned when he’s one of the few reliable bullpen pieces right now.
The Yankees have an infuriatingly rigid way of conducting business and filling their rosters with veterans, regardless of how incompetent they may be. It’s time for a change, though, because we’ve been seeing the same thing for over a decade now. Youthful talent inject life into rosters, and the Yankees need that more than ever during this horrid slump.