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.
Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.
Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.
It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.