Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson entered the 2023 season hoping to win the fans back over after a highly disappointing first campaign in pinstripes. Instead, he’s been even worse, as he made only 17 plate appearances prior to June due to a nagging hamstring strain, and in the games he has played, he’s looked his age (37).
Across 34 contests, Donaldson is hitting .142/.225/.434 with a 75 wRC+. His only saving grace is that of his scant 15 hits, 10 have been homers, and they haven’t come often enough for him to be a useful player. The boos have rained down harder on him than ever, and now, he’s hurt again. During the seventh inning on Saturday night’s game against the Rockies, he came up lame on a grounder and had to undergo testing afterward.
Donaldson is heading to the 10-day IL with a calf strain, and infield prospect Oswald Peraza will return to the majors.
Prior to today’s game, the Yankees made the following roster moves:— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 16, 2023
•Placed INF Josh Donaldson on the 10-day injured list with a right calf strain.
•Recalled INF Oswald Peraza (#91) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Prior to Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rockies, manager Aaron Boone said that he expects Donaldson to need more than the minimum IL stay, though MRI results are still forthcoming.
Peraza impressed during his September cup of coffee with New York in 2022, hitting .306/.404/.429 with a 146 wRC+ in 57 plate appearances. He lost the battle for the starting shortstop job to Anthony Volpe in spring training though, so due to the combination of that outcome and the Yankees’ reluctance to part with Donaldson, most of the 23-year-old’s 2023 has been spent at Triple-A Scranton (save for a not-so-strong 12-game stint in late April after Donaldson’s hamstring injury).
In 45 games at Triple-A this year, Peraza is batting .261/.352/.495 with 12 homers and a 108 wRC+. It’s been a bit of a tale of two seasons for the righty hitter, as he was on fire at .347/.398/.663 through the end of May but has slumped to a .173/.310/.323 triple slash since then. He’s still considered an elite defender though, even better at shortstop than Volpe and with the ability to man second and third as well. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Yankees use him at a few different spots.