Jhonny Peralta likely out 2-3 months with torn thumb ligament

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Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta has a torn ligament in his left thumb and general manager John Mozeliak told KMOX radio in St. Louis that he could be out for “2-3 months.”

For now Peralta is heading back to St. Louis to get a second opinion, but barring some unexpectedly positive news the Cardinals will be without their starting shortstop for all of April and perhaps all of May as well. Peralta hit .275 with 17 homers and a .745 OPS in 155 games last season, making his third All-Star team at age 33.

This offseason the Cardinals acquired Jedd Gyorko from the Padres to serve as their main backup infielder and now he could be pushed into extended action at shortstop despite little experience there in the majors. Aledmys Diaz is another option to see action at shortstop after hitting .278 with 13 homers and a .784 OPS in 116 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

Regardless of the fill-in options, losing Peralta is a big blow to the Cardinals’ odds of holding off the Cubs and Pirates to win a fourth straight NL Central title.