Jhonny Peralta wants to prove that he can “play baseball naturally”

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On August 5 last season as a member of the Tigers, shortstop Jhonny Peralta accepted a 50-game suspension for his involvement with Biogenesis. He returned for the final three games of the regular season, then joined the Tigers in the post-season against the Athletics in the ALDS and the Red Sox in the ALCS.

Peralta became a free agent after the season. His offensive output in 2011 (.824 OPS) and ’13 (.815) was rewarded with a four-year, $52 million contract with the NL champion Cardinals. GM John Mozeliak was willing to look past Peralta’s history with PED use.

As David Wilhelm of the Belleville News-Democrat reports, Peralta is motivated to prove that he can be a productive player for the Cardinals without using performance-enhancing substances.

“I’m trying to put it in the past,” Peralta said. “I’m trying to look forward and forget about it. … I know I can play baseball naturally. I have to show people that I can do it and that I can help.

“I’m going to try to do the best I can do and try to help the Cardinals go to the World Series one more time and win.”

The Cardinals badly needed an upgrade at shortstop, as they finished 2013 with the third-lowest OPS from the position in the National League at .583, ahead of only the Marlins and Mets. Pete Kozma, who got most of the playing time at shortstop for the Cardinals, posted a .548 OPS while Daniel Descalso wasn’t much better at .656.

MLB COVID-19 testing results announced for first week of Summer Camp

MLB COVID-19 testing
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MLB COVID-19 testing results were just jointly released by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The results given are through close of business yesterday.

The MLB COVID-19 testing results are broken down by both”Intake Screening,” which was the threshold testing required before players and staff were allowed to enter camp. Then the “Monitoring Testing” which is the every-other-day testing being conducted from now until the end of the season.

Here’s how it breaks down:

COMPLETED INTAKE SCREENING

  • The number of positive intake tests was 66, which was 1.8% of the 3,748 total samples tested;
  • 58 of these 66 positives were players and 8 were staff members;
  • 27 different clubs had at least one positive test;

MONITORING TESTING

  • The number of monitoring samples collected and tested has been 7,401;
  • 17 of these 7,401 samples, which is 0.2%, have been new positives;
  • 13 of the 17 positives have been players and 4 have been staff members;
  • 10 different Clubs have had a new positive during Monitoring Testing.

COMBINED INTAKE AND MONITORING TESTING

Combining the totals of Intake Screening and Monitoring Testing, the results are as follows:

  • The total number of positive tests between both testing phases is 83, which is 0.7% of the 11,149 samples since the beginning of Intake Screening on June 27th;
  • Among the 83 positives, 71 have been players and 12 have been staff members;
  • 28 different Clubs have had positive tests overall.

Left unclear from the MLB COVID-19 testing press release is whether MLB is up-to-schedule in its monitoring testing (i.e. if they are turning around the tests in 24 hours is required by MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan or if, as we saw earlier in the week, there has been lag.

It’s also not clear if this sort of update will come every week or if this was a one-time thing. Guess we’ll see soon.