Officially the Tigers haven’t made a decision yet on whether they’ll allow Jhonny Peralta to rejoin the team once his 50-game suspension is over on September 26, but the shortstop is set to begin working out with the team again.
Here’s what the Tigers said on the topic yesterday in a statement:
There has been no decision made regarding Peralta’s return to the active roster. It is an organizational decision to allow Jhonny to workout with the club in order to see if it will be in the best interest of the team to have him return at the end of his suspension.
In other words, if he looks good and like he can help the team they’ll let him play once the suspension is over, which makes it performance-based rather than morality-based. And that’s fine, especially since the Rangers plan to have Nelson Cruz on the playoff roster once he returns from the same Biogenesis-related suspension.
How much he’ll play is another issue, as slick-fielding rookie Jose Iglesias has taken over at shortstop since being acquired from the Red Sox to fill in for Peralta and the Tigers have Miguel Cabrera at third base and Omar Infante at second base. Most likely he’d fill a part-time bench role.
Peralta hit .305 with 11 homers, 29 doubles, and an .822 OPS in 104 games before the suspension and the 31-year-old is an impending free agent.
Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius had another fantastic night last night. He went 3-for-3, hitting a home run for the fourth game in a row, had an RBI single and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances in New York’s 7-4 win over Minnesota.
For the year that gives Gregorius a line of .372/.470/.833, putting him atop the American League in average, slugging, OPS, and OPS+. He also leads the league in total bases (65) and RBI (29). He leads all of baseball in fWAR at 2.2, edging out Mike Trout despite the fact that Trout has played in two more games. He’s second behind Trout in homers with nine.
After last night’s game he insisted that he is not a home run hitter:
“I do have a lot of home runs, but it’s not like I am going out there to try to hit them . . . I’m not a power guy like Judge and Stanton, who hit 50 to 60 and up. Those are the guys who actually hit home runs. One year, let’s say, I hit five — then you ask me where that part went . . . if they go out, they go out. I’m just mostly trying to barrel it up and get a good swing . . . I try to hit line drives and if you check most of my home runs they were line drives,” he said. “It’s not like I am going up to hit deep fly balls.”
Given that he hit 25 homers last year and 20 the year before, he’s being a bit modest, even if he’s not likely to keep up this torrid pace. That modesty is not stopping some people from getting a bit carried away, of course:
We’ll forgive Bob for the hyperbole. Didi has been fun to watch.