Prior to the Yankees’ series finale against the Twins on Sunday afternoon, they had to make a roster move. Prospect Oswald Peraza, who was once considered the favorite to be the team’s Opening Day shortstop, is now back with the team in games that count for the first time since last October. That would normally be at least somewhat-exciting news, but it rang a little hollow considering why the Yankees had to promote him in advance of a Monday offday.
DH Giancarlo Stanton ripped a missile of a double during Saturday’s 6-1 win over the Twins, but he left the ballgame after pulling into second base amid ballpark-wide confusion about the hit not sailing over the fence. A pinch-runner entered, and while some eyebrows were raised since it was only the seventh, the Yankees didn’t say anything about it in the postgame.
Well, here we are on Sunday and Stanton is reportedly undergoing an MRI on his hamstring after feeling something on the double. The oft-injured Yankee is ticketed for the IL, and that’s why the roster spot is open for Peraza. The Giancarlo Stanton/Injured List tango has unfortunately been one that the Yankees have had to dance for several years now. Since playing 158 games in 2018, he’s been limited to 19 in 2019, 23 of a possible 60 contests during the COVID-shortened 2020, and 110 last year, when he looked like a different player than his All-Star first half anyway once he returned from the IL in August.
The Yankees have confirmed the swap, noting a “left hamstring strain.”
Prior to today’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) April 16, 2023
•Placed DH/OF Giancarlo Stanton on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain.
•Recalled INF Oswald Peraza (#91) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
At this point, I suppose we just have to be relieved that if Stanton is hitting the shelf, it’s only with a pulled hamstring. Those tend to lead to shorter IL stints than other injuries, but we’ll have to see the degree of the strain per the MRI. This is just the Giancarlo Stanton Experience of the 2020s, as much as it’s incredible to watch him hit.
The Yankees have been hesitant to promote Peraza unless there was playing time to be had because they didn’t want him riding the bench too long instead of developing. So perhaps they will play him some more in the infield, especially with Josh Donaldson still on the IL himself (though this could also just be an emergency measure since Peraza’s already on the 40-man and Donaldson is due back soon). Peraza is a more naturally gifted shortstop than Anthony Volpe, so that’s a possibility, but he can also play second base. Peraza was hitting .289/.357/.316 over his first nine games of 2023, reaching base but not showing much power yet.
It is worth noting that the Grade 2 diagnosis is not surprising, since Boone noted that yesterday Stanton "definitely felt like, before even getting the MRI, that it was an IL stint." https://t.co/zZAdBh9UBB— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) April 16, 2023
It’s a Grade 2 hamstring strain for Stanton, which is probably going to keep him out four-to-six weeks. He missed five in 2020 for a similar injury, so we have a reasonable comp. In short, the Yankees won’t have the big guy back anytime soon, so they’re just going to have to make do without him. Again. Sigh.
Aaron Boone on Giancarlo Stanton: “We’re hoping we get him back in six weeks.”— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) April 18, 2023
There’s the official timetable. With Stanton’s injury history, the Yankees were always going to lean the cautious route. So don’t expect* to see the big DH back until early June at the absolute soonest.
*Chances are, you probably weren’t counting on a quick recovery for Stanton anyway.