Did Oswald Peraza's injury affect the Yankees' Opening Day roster ... at all?

New York Yankees v Miami Marlins
New York Yankees v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

It really is worth wondering if Oswald Peraza was a shoo-in to make the New York Yankees' Opening Day roster. Sure, his injury might've affected his poor defense and 0-for-7 start with four strikeouts, but he was never trending in the right direction dating back to 2022.

He might've had an inside track because the Yankees' bench still remains relatively thin (Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Trent Grisham + a catcher isn't fearsome whatsoever), but there was always the concern about his development at the MLB level. What good are part-time reps for somebody who needs everyday reps in order to prove his value?

Peraza was never going to get daily playing time with the configuration of the infield. Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe and DJ LeMahieu occupy the three positions Peraza can play, and Volpe/Torres rarely take days off. That means Peraza was at the mercy of Aaron Boone giving LeMahieu off days or LeMahieu suffering an injury.

Over the weekend, it was Peraza who was dealt a tough injury blow, as an MRI revealed a strained shoulder, which will shut him down upwards of two months. Fans immediately wondered what that meant for the team's bench but ... the Yankees had already been searching for an alternative.

The larger talking point is Peraza's future in the sport, as he's essentially going to waste away for the second straight year, both of which were supposed to be integral to his overall growth and development.

Did Oswald Peraza's injury affect the Yankees' Opening Day roster ... at all?

Prior to the Yankees even knowing anything about Peraza's injury (at least based on the timelines we were given), the front office offered contracts to Kiké Hernandez (before he signed with the Dodgers) and Amed Rosario (before he signed with the Rays). The writing felt like it was on the wall.

If Peraza hasn't been doing enough to log everyday reps, then he has no use on the big-league roster because he needs consistent playing time in order to carve out an MLB career for himself. We all saw how part-time duty went in 2023. Peraza logged 52 games and hit .191 with a .539 OPS. His defense was good, but that hardly matters when you're subtracting 0.7 WAR from your team in limited exposure.

Just look at the Yankees' other infield options! How much better was Peraza than ... any of them? He just had potential and growth on his side, which helped his case (and he was obviously the preferred option because of his success in the upper levels of the minor leagues and former top-100 prospect pedigree).

But for a year and a half now, it's seemed like Peraza's destiny was to wither away. The Yankees forcibly made him expendable despite his promising track record, and then the expected injury issues avalanched (as they always do with everybody present on the 40-man roster).

Nonetheless, the Yankees had been searching for replacements for quite some time and were never really satisfied with their bench. So while Peraza's shutdown is upsetting and disappointing, we'd argue it has little-to-no impact on the Opening Day roster ... or the 2024 season, for that matter.