Wandy Peralta hit the injured list Friday with a triceps strain, which will end his season, and perhaps his Yankees career.
The left-hander will be a free agent following this season and his loss would add another question mark to a 2024 bullpen that figures to have plenty to answer.
Manager Aaron Boone said the void left by Peralta’s potential departure would be “big.”
“Wandy’s been awesome,” Boone said before the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Diamondbacks. “He’s a leader. He’s tough. He takes the ball and we trust him in any situation. … He’s a big-game pitcher and not afraid of any moment.”
When it comes to building the 2024 relief corps, Clay Holmes is expected to be in the closer role again. Holmes has been solid, but he has taken a step back from his All-Star season from a year ago.
Tommy Kahnle has had stretches of dominance in his Yankees return, although he has been much more hittable over the last two months, as opposing batters adjusted to his heavy usage of his changeup.
Jonathan Loaisiga has battled elbow inflammation and been limited to 17 ²/₃ innings this season.
The Yankees expect to get Scott Effross back from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander pitched just 12 ²/₃ innings with the Yankees in 2022 after he was acquired from the Cubs prior to the trade deadline, before going down with the elbow injury.
Another 2022 trade deadline acquisition, Lou Trivino, will likely miss at least the first two months of next season after he had Tommy John surgery this May.
Michael King may end up in the rotation.
The Yankees seem to have found something in Ian Hamilton, but Ron Marinaccio’s command problems have made him ineffective.
And the Yankees’ only addition at the trade deadline this year, Keynan Middleton, will also be a free agent after the season.
Peralta served as the Yankees’ lone high-leverage lefty reliever this season and was excellent against left-handed hitters again this year. But Peralta had a difficult time with righties, allowing them an OPS of .758. He held right-handed hitters to a .594 OPS a year ago.
Peralta was also a key part of the bullpen in the 2022 playoffs, leading Yankees relievers with five appearances and six innings pitched in their ALDS win over Cleveland. Peralta had a 0.67 WHIP in that series.
He last pitched on Sept. 14 in Boston and reported discomfort over the next few days. After he attempted to return, the Yankees opted to shut him down Friday. Boone said the injury is not expected to impact his free agency. He was replaced on the roster by Yoendrys Gomez, a 23-year-old right-hander called up from Double-A Somerset.
Peralta, 32, came to the Yankees from the Giants during the 2021 season in exchange for outfielder Mike Tauchman.