It was announced that Jhonny Peralta would rejoin the team yesterday to start fielding both ground balls at short and fly balls in the outfield. With the continued struggles of Matt Tuiasosopo in the second half of the season, could this open the door for Peralta to be a member of the Tigers come the postseason?
Peralta was having one of the best seasons of his career prior to the suspension, hitting .305 with 11 home runs and 54 RBI’s. But with the trade deadline deal that brought Jose Iglesias to Detroit, Peralta would not be the starting shortstop any more.
With his power hitting bat, and right-handed hitting, Peralta could make for a platoon in left field with Andy Dirks come the postseason. According to Baseball Reference, Peralta has played a total of 0 professional games in the outfield, hence the fielding practice before Wednesday’s game.
According to Chris Iott of Mlive.com, Peralta is willing to do anything he can to help the Tigers, and had this to say about playing in the outfield and his potential role with the team:
No, no, I never played the outfield, but in the infield we take fly balls, so I don’t think it’s too different taking fly balls in the outfield and the infield. I try to see what’s going on in the outfield and take practice every day.
I understand the situation, Iglesias is a really good player. He’s settled to be the shortstop every day. I’m here to help the team in whatever position I can be at. It’s good to be here and I’ll try to enjoy the game whatever decision Dave makes. I’ll be here.
Jhonny is a good athlete, all shortstops at the major league level were at some point, and even though he doesn’t have great range in the infield anymore he could potentially hold his own in left. The Tigers aren’t expecting a Gold Glove-type performance in the playoffs if Peralta does play, but the addition of his bat in the lineup could make up for any potential errors in the field.
The real question now is, what do the Tigers do with Jhonny and how would Tigers’ fans react to Peralta coming back and playing in the playoffs? Peralta isn’t eligible to return to the team until Friday, September 27 when the Tigers start the final three games of the season against the Miami Marlins.
So what do you think Tigers fans, should Peralta be back with the team in the postseason or should his time here in Detroit be finished? Let us know at DetroitSportsBloggers.com or on Facebook and Twitter.