Jhonny Peralta has been a key player for the Detroit Tigers this postseason and Jim Leyland is doing whatever he can to keep his bat in the line-up. Tonight that includes playing him at shortstop with strike-out artist Max Scherzer on the mound. Playing Peralta at short over defensive specialist Jose Iglesias is not as much of a disadvantage with Max Scherzer on the mound. Scherzer is a strike-out/fly ball pitcher so bringin peralta in from the outfield will be an upgrade for the Tigers defensively.
Speaking of defense, Don Kelly will get the start in left field. Don Kelly has been a favorite of Jim Leyland all season for his defensive versatility and clutch hitting ability. Starting Don Kelly in left gives Leyland the option of replacing Cabrera defensively with a position shift without putting a weaker bat in the third spot in the batting order.
That way when Leyland lifts Miggy in the late innings for defensive purposes, he can play Tuiassoppoo or Dirks in left field and bat them third. It also allows him to better match pinch hitters to the situation without having to worry about 3rd base defense. Most of the extra bats on the bench would be better suited for an outfield position rather than 3rd Base.
We will see if the “Wizard of Woodward’s” latest moves pan out and help the Tigers to a 2-0 series lead.