Yankees Make Change To Starting Lineup For Game 2

Isiah Kiner-Falefa's shaky defense at shortstop all season finally forced the New York Yankees to replace him for games 4 and 5 of the ALDS against the Cleveland Guardians. But yet, there he was again at short for Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros. 

That won't be the case for Game 2 tonight, as manager Aaron Boone will instead be inserting rookie Oswald Peraza at shortstop, for his first-ever postseason start. Kiner-Falefa heads back to the bench.

In a slightly awkward answer, Boone explained, "just felt like matchup-wise against (Astros starter) Framber (Valdez), who's obviously a great pitcher, a guy who puts the ball on the ground a lot.. I just felt like Peraza's a guy that, y'know... (clears throat)... can take a shot at impacting the ball."

Yankees fans are certainly thrilled with this development, whatever the reasons. 

To be clear, there's no platoon-advantage gained, as both Kiner-Falefa and Peraza hit from the right side against the left-hander Valdez. The Astros' underrated hurler went 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP along with 194 strikeouts in 201 innings this season. 

But Boone obviously likes the rookie's chances better against him. 

"Just been impressed really the entire month he was up with us there at the end of the regular season," added Boone. "Excited to see him go out there and play."

Peraza, the Yankees' No. 2 prospect most of the 2022 season, hit .306 in 49 at-bats in September, with one home run, three doubles and an .832 OPS. At Triple-A this season, he had 19 HR, 50 RBIs and 33 SB in 99 games. 

Peraza will bat 8th, while Oswaldo Cabrera will hit 9th and play LF. 

Photo: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports