Jhonny Peralta started pregame workouts Wednesday at U.S. Cellular field. He is only allowed to workout with the Tigers until the gates of the stadium open. Eventually, he will join the Tigers’ instructional league team. It is unclear whether he will join them for workouts or when they start games on the 23rd.
Peralta took both ground balls and fly balls on Wednesday. The Tigers seem to be trying to see if Peralta can play left field. Peralta stated that he has never played the outfield but doesn’t think it is too different.
There is no guarantee that the Tigers will activate Jhonny Peralta when he is eligible to return. General Manager Dave Dombrowski said that there is some obligation to try and give him an opportunity to get back with the team.
One thing that is for certain is that Peralta will not take over the starting shortstop position if activated. Jose Iglesias has cemented his role as starting shortstop for years to come. He is hitting .292 as a Tiger and is a much better fielder than Peralta. It would be hard to find someone who hasn’t been impressed by some of the plays that he has made this year.
Peralta was hitting .305 this year before getting suspended. While his average may not be a lot better than Iglesias’, he does hit with much more power. His value if he returned would be a utility player and a pinch hitter.
When looking at who he would replace on the roster there is one possibility that makes the most sense. Matt Tuiasosopo has not been hitting as well as he did at the start of the year. He is down to a .270 average. However, Tuiasosopo is a proven outfielder while Peralta is not.
If the Tigers see Jhonny Peralta as a serviceable outfielder, it would be more likely that he is activated. The Tigers are still looking for a permanent answer to left field as Andy Dirks has struggled at times this year.
The other possible left field option is rookie Nick Castellanos. He has 3 hits in 11 at bats in his short stint in the majors. He is defiantly a possibility for the playoff roster.
The activation of Jhonny Peralta really comes down to whether he can help the team. He hasn’t played for a while now and you would assume that he would be a little rusty upon return. However, if he has good workouts and performs well in the instructional league you can expect to see him in a Tigers uniform once again.