In need of a spark following their Game 1 ALCS loss to the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees are turning to the kids — specifically, Oswald Peraza starting at shortstop for Thursday’s Game 2 at Minute Maid Park.
While his teammate and fellow youngster in Oswaldo Cabrera gets a start at third for the struggling Josh Donaldson, the 22-year-old Peraza is making his first-career postseason start after just 18 regular-season games to his ledger.
Not a ton of experience when it comes to the Yankees’ middle infield, especially when it comes to creating a double-play tandem with Gleyber Torres at second base. But the 25-year-old — who is a seasoned vet compared to the other two left-side infielders — is bullish on playing with Peraza.
“He’s a great player, a really confident guy,” Torres said on Thursday ahead of Game 2. “I’m just happy to play with him and just try to make all the outs possible and help the pitchers.”
Peraza batted .306 with a home run and two RBI in his limited MLB experience, which the Yankees will be hoping is an upgrade compared to the struggling Isiah Kiner-Falefa. But the postseason is an entirely different animal, especially against an Astros pitching staff that was fresh off striking out the Yankees 17 times in Game 1.
“I already told him a couple things, like just be in control,” Torres said. “It’s postseason, but at the end of the day, it’s just the same game, and just try to do the little things and just have fun.
“I mean, don’t try to do too much. Just enjoy this type of moment.”
Easier said than done — at least to us sitting in the press box or in the stands or on the couch.
“I think it’s not hard. It’s just like, I think as a player, you play all season long to be here, and when you got an opportunity, it’s just enjoy the moment,” Torres said. “Try to do the little things, try to help the team in any situation, defensively or offensively, and just be yourself. I think that is a way you can control yourself. Don’t be nervous or don’t be super excited, just be in the moment and do your thing.”