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  • Writer's pictureAndy Singer

SSTN Weekly Mailbag: Peraza, Closer, And Rule Changes!

So, how's everyone feeling today? When last we talked, it looked like the Yankees might just be turning the corner with a youth movement and health on the way. Since I was last here, the Yankees have won with greater frequency, gotten healthier, and are playing better baseball. I'm not going to say that August is a distant memory, but as we get closer to October, the Yankees are looking a lot closer to the team that I thought they'd be. Oh, and we're hopefully close to witnessing Aaron Judge tie and pass Roger Maris' 61 homers in 1961, 61 years later. The universe works in mysterious ways...

I'm going to catch some heat for this (given that the sample size is miniscule), but Harrison Bader is exactly who I hoped he'd be. He's been a menace on the basepaths, is hitting enough to anchor the bottom of the order, and can clearly fly all over the field. Bader also seems to be a fiery presence, something that was missing from this roster. I'm a bit worried about the bullpen, but otherwise, it feels good to be a Yankee fan.

As always, thanks for the great questions and keep them coming to In this week's SSTN Mailbag, we'll talk about Oswald Peraza, pick a postseason closer, and dissect one rule change! Let's get at it:

Fuster asks: Andy, does Peraza stick and hit .275 and does that push Volpe to the other side of the second base bag?

or do the Yankees decide that they can move forward with Torres/DJ/Cabrera at 2B

and make a trade?

This question came a couple of weeks ago before a short hiatus on my part. I am sure that this question assumed that Peraza was coming to the show to play as opposed to getting splinters in his rear end waiting to pinch run in the 8th and 9th innings. However, I think it's a good time to talk about Peraza's role next season.

Peraza is not a guy who is going to hit .275, even with the elimination of the shift. Peraza, like Oswaldo Cabrera, swings hard and will have his fair share of struggles with big league breaking balls early on. Peraza has pop in his bat, decent plate discipline, and some bat control, but I think at maturation he's a guy who hits in the .235-.265 range with a decent OBP and 20-25 homers (depending on what MLB does with the ball). Peraza can really pick it at SS with a good arm, and in his short time with the Yankees, we've seen the difference between Peraza and IKF over on the left side of the infield.

I think the question of how the Yankees sort out the IKF/Torres/DJLM/Peraza/Volpe/Cabrera/Donaldson group this offseason will be among the most important storylines we discuss (besides the literal elephant in the room, re-signing Aaron Judge). Obviously a trade of some kind is coming this offseason. The question in my mind is whether the Yankees are going to dump some salary, utilize spare parts to acquire decent pitching, or some of both. I have a hard time believing that both Donaldson and Torres are back next season. The rumors that Torres was nearly shipped out at the deadline appear to have merit, and he's a trade chip with some value still.

Volpe is the Yankees' best prospect, and I firmly believe you leave your team's best prospect at his natural position unless he proves he can't perform there. Volpe, if anything, has improved this year at shortstop, showing increased arm strength that combined with his hands, instincts, and defensive actions make him a true shortstop. Moving from left to right on your radio dial, I'd start DJLM at 3B, Volpe at SS, and Peraza at 2B, with Cabrera and IKF on the bench. I could also see swapping DJLM and Peraza, which is okay with me too.

Ben asks: If the postseason started today who is the Yankee closer? Every time someone gets hot, they collapse like Trivino and Holmes.

I really didn't expect to still be talking about this in late September, but here we are. The bullpen, long a strength of the Yankee roster, hasn't been reliable in late and close situations in recent months, and no one has been consistent. Chapman continues to implode, Trivino couldn't find the plate the other night, Holmes is hanging sinkers right in the happy zone, and I don't know what to make of Loaisiga some nights.

If forced to choose, I think I'd pick Loaisiga right now, but most nights I think I'd just go with my gut based on how confident my relievers looked in the clubhouse before the game.

David asks: Which new rule change will impact the Yankees the most?

Most people would probably say the elimination of the shift, and that's a great, but easy answer, and we know that I never like the easy way out.

I think the larger bases are going to make more of an impact than people realize, and I'm surprisingly in favor of this rule change (I wrote a piece a long time ago noting that the actual distance between bases has actually never been 90 feet all the way goes our fantastical ideal of perfect dimensions on a baseball diamond). Baseball is a game of inches, and the data does show an uptick in stolen bases in the minor leagues this year with larger bases. The Yankees have already begun stealing more bases than they have in recent years, and I think that with the odds tipped in the Yankees' favor further and with a youth movement on the way, the Yankees could be primed to run in 2023.

5 comentarios

23 sept 2022

I think SB's will be the most significant outcome of the rule changes as well. Between larger bases, time limit to throw the pitch & only able to throw to first twice will make base-running skills/speed the next under-valued & sought after commodity in baseball. After reading a few articles on The Athletic this week....the shift rules will have very little to no impact on most LH hitters I believe. Between 2 man outfields with 3rd OF in short RF where 2b used to be & with SS still starting from middle of diamond anyway I can't see much changing. Those hard shots up the middle will still too often be outs. Analytics will evolve to next strategy which …

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Robert Malchman
Robert Malchman
23 sept 2022

IKF is in the lineup right now because he's hitting. Since Sept. 1, his OPS is .765; before that, it was .625. However, his defense has also been good, eye-test boots notwithstanding. For the year, 129 games at SS, he has 8 DRS (9th in MLB) and a RF/9 of 3.62. Peraza in only 7 games at SS, has 0 DRS (can't fault him for that) and RF/9 of 3.54. He had a .778 OPS at SWB, so he essentially hit about the same in Triple-A as IKF is hitting in September in the Majors. Peraza got to start 6 times from Sept. 3-9, including the four games from Sept. 7-9 where IKF played 3B. After that Peraza …

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23 sept 2022

I thank you, Andy, for the consideration of my question.

and fully agree that sorting out the glut of infielders will be the second great challenge of the off-season.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
23 sept 2022

Andy, I am happy to say, even as the biggest critic of the trade, that Bader looks good right now. Real good. I hope you continue to be correct!

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Cary Greene
Cary Greene
23 sept 2022

Nice write ups Andy, fun read! I have a question for next week. As you mentioned, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed. It certainly appears that Judge will be paid handsomely and get at least a 10-year deal at this point.

How do you see Cashman handling this? Also, besides a trade needing to be made, the Yankees and Rizzo seem to be a perfect match. Rizzo has been an excellent value this season, will he opt out and if so, will the Yankees renegotiate for a longer-term deal with him? --or...would DJ LeMahieu simply slot in at first base? I know we were thinking he'd be at third base next season, but minus Rizzo, would the…

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