Prior to tonight’s game against the Blue Jays, Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced that Josh Donaldson has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and will be out for “a couple weeks.” Donaldson was on a minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Somerset¹ when he seemingly reaggravated his hamstring earlier this week.
The primary aftershock of Donaldson’s ailment, other than the absence of Donaldson himself, is the opening that now presents itself to Oswald Peraza. The young infielder should have an extended opportunity to reestablish himself at the big league level. Peraza is penciled in to hit sixth and start at third base tonight, where he has never played professionally until now.
Donaldson had only appeared in five games before hitting the IL, but struggled over that span, hitting .125/.176/.313 in 17 plate appearances. Peraza has shown well in his very brief time in the big leagues; including last year, he’s hit .304/.418/.411 in 67 plate appearances, while crucially showcasing some superlative defense on the infield dirt.
Hopefully, Donaldson can get healthy and return to producing at an adequate level at some time this season. But as the veteran heals, eyes will turn to Peraza. The Yankees’ current and future infield picture could become a lot clearer if Peraza can get on a roll now that he has the chance to get some run in the majors.
¹Coincidentally, outfielder Harrison Bader is beginning his own rehab at Somerset tonight. Expect that one to take at least 10 days though and more likely closer to two weeks since his spring training prep was interrupted in early March by that oblique strain.