Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Here's Jhonny, or is he?
By AJ Mass
Although he is still serving out the remainder of his 50-game suspension, the Detroit Tigers have decided to allow Jhonny Peralta to resume workouts with the team, beginning today. However, general manager Dave Dombrowski made it clear that a decision on whether or not Peralta will actually be activated when his suspension is up on September 27 has not yet been made.
"He’s not eligible to be activated until the last weekend of the season," Dombrowski said. "But he’ll take some ground balls, some fly balls, and do some hitting...I will say this, that he has been told that he’s not coming back as our every-day shortstop. But there really is an obligation to giving him a chance to come back."
Peralta's looming suspension was the impetus for the Tigers to deal for Jose Iglesias, who has hit .303 since coming over from the Boston Red Sox. Iglesias is eligible for salary arbitration in the off-season, and will probably end up costing around half of what the Tigers would have had to offer free agent-to-be Peralta to get him to stay. For 2014, Peralta will almost assuredly be playing elsewhere.
But, assuming their playoff position is locked in by then, it certainly couldn't hurt the Tigers to give Peralta a few at-bats against the Miami Marlins, just to see if they might not be better off with his bat coming off the bench in the playoffs as opposed to weak-hitting Don Kelly or Ramon Santiago. Given the tone of Dombrowski's comments, it does seem as though that's exactly what the Tigers are hoping to have happen.