For those fans who have been keeping track of Jhonny Peralta before he was linked to BioGenesis, the controversy surrounding the Tigers shortstop shouldn’t surprise them. After his lack luster season in 2012, the Tigers exercised the team option on Peralta for the 2013 season. This move was a controversial for Tigers fans who felt Peralta was on the down side of his career. His sub-par performance even led some to think that Danny Worth should start in his place.
In 2012 Jhonny Peralta hit .239 with a .305 OBP. He stepped it up a bit in the play-offs but was a no-show in the World Series mustering only 1 hit in 15 at-bats. That hit was a home run but it wasn’t nearly enough keep the Tigers from getting swept in the Fall Classic. I am not saying that it was Peralta’s fault the Tigers lost the series against the Giants, but it is fair to point out the reason Tigers fans wanted him run out-of-town after last season.
During the offseason, story after story came out about how Jhonny Peralta had lost weight and was faster and quicker on defense. Peralta was praised by writers for the offseason program that was preparing Peralta for the upcoming season. In fact, Peralta told many that he was in the “best shape of his life”. Fans were excited to see Peraltas commitment to helping the team win in 2013.
The evidence about to be released by major league baseball about Jhonny Peralta’s link to BioGensis may show that Peraltas offseason dedication may have been aided by performance enhancing drugs. Players will do desperate things to keep their career going. It’s impossible to understand Peralta’s motivation behind allegedly using PEDs, but it was a selfish decision and one that could have cost the Tigers dearly.
Peralta’s link to BioGenesis could have really hurt the Tigers quest for a world series if it wasn’t for the general managers ability to make great trades. When fans are waxing poetic about Peralta, they should remember that if not for the Dave Dombrowski we would be starting Danny Worth at shortstop down the stretch.
The Real Jhonny Peralta
Jhonny Peralta is a career .268 hitter who strikes out well over 100 times a season. He is a shortstop who was moved to third by the Cleveland Indians who felt he didn’t have the range to play the position. He was a third basemen until the Tigers moved him back to the middle after trading for him in 2010. As a shortstop Peralta is servicable but his defensive deficits were exposed with Ryan Raburn and Miguel Cabrera flanking him in 2012. Those deficits were covered up this year by the always steady Omar Infante at second and improved defensive play by Miguel Cabrera at third.
Fans should be careful not to overvalue Peraltas glove or bat to the Tiger’s line-up because without the effects of PEDs, Peralta is a shortstop with an average bat and limited range. Instead of worrying about how we will miss Jhonny’s bat in the line-up , we should all move on from Peralta and embrace the future represented by Jose Igelsias