Aug 3, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) hits a home run in the second inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jhonny Peralta Should Not Return to Detroit Tigers This Season

Jhonny Peralta has accepted his 50 game suspension in the relation to the Biogenesis Clinic and the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. He is eligible to return to the Detroit Tigers for their last three games of the season against the Miami Marlins and the postseason if the Tigers qualify. He should not return to the Tigers for those games.

I want a World Series as bad as everyone else does. The Tigers are a better team right now with Peralta in the lineup over Ramon Santiago, Danny Worth, or Hernan Perez, but will they be in 50 games? Sitting out for 50 games without seeing more than batting practice will have any player get rusty. When the suspension is up, there is no guarantee that Peralta will come back and produce. He was already regressing since his start of the season that earned his a spot on the AL All Star Team.

Jose Iglesias was acquired from the Boston Red Sox at the trade deadline for just this reason. He is Peralta’s replacement for the future and he is the replacement now. Iglesias has a line of .323/.367/.412 in the 2013 season which is a season that he is not expected to uphold, but he is an outstanding upgrade with the glove and an improvement on the base path.

Peralta’s line of .305/.361/.461 will not be replaced by one person on the Tigers. It should be replaced by a group of Tigers who need to step up in the second half for this team to achieve its ultimate goal, winning a World Series. Prince Fielder and Alex Avila have been dreadful this year; they needs to step up. The Tigers need to get more out of their left field spot on a daily basis. That means Andy Dirks needs to produce more, Matt Tuiasosopo needs to play more, or Nick Castellanos needs to be called up and produce. Austin Jackson has not been producing the numbers he should since the week after he came off of the DL earlier this season. Omar Infante and Miguel Cabrera have been hurt for a month and when they get back, they will need to produce.

One player does not win a World Series for a team. One player could be the difference in winning it, but the team goes out there and wins the games.

Peralta released a statement on Tuesday that said:

“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension. I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost.”

First of all, kudos to Peralta for releasing a quality statement, but he admitted to using the PED’s during his time with the Tigers. Did he use more than just in the spring training of 2012? Probably, but there is no proof of that has been released either way. He has hurt the team this season by getting suspended for 50 games and he does not deserve to come back this season.

Another reason that he should not return in the importance of the clubhouse. Players may not accept Peralta when he is back from suspension. Jim Leyland has done a very nice job in his time here handling the egos of his players and keeping the clubhouse in order. If Peralta returns, the clubhouse could turn and the team will not play as well. Look at what a divided clubhouse can do with a team that has talent. A perfect example is the difference between the Red Sox of 2013 compared to the Red Sox of 2012.

Peralta should not return now, and he should not return next season. He has been replaced by Iglesias and does not have a role on this team. Another team who needs a shortstop can go ahead and pick up Peralta for any kind of money they want. The Tigers have their slogan of “Always a Tiger.” I would not be surprised to see that Peralta was eventually brought back (see Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Inge, Jose Valverde), butPeralta’s time should be done with the Detroit Tigers. Thank you for what you did for the team.

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  • Patrick OKennedy

    Absurd. The agreed suspension is 50 games. No reason to give him a lifetime ban from the Tigers. These drugs didn’t even enhance his performance.

    To not bring him back would be a clear sign that the organization is more concerned with image than with winning.

  • chrisHannum

    “Rust” is a real thing, but I’d say that he should start all 3 games against the Marlins. Whether or not he is on the playoff roster should depend on how sharp he looks in those 3 games, not on any notions of justice or worries over chemistry. Peralta is – by WAR – the second most valuable position player on the team behind Cabrera, the damage that he will do to the team will be by not playing.

  • Michael Nance

    When someone is caught stealing they get taken to the security office and how they act has a lot to do with the punishment. If they deny having stolen items and they in fact do they chance they will be punished is much greater. If they come clean the chance for a lighter penalty is greater. If you fight back about being detained then the chances of the police being called get closer to 100%. I hope they sat the guys down and said … tell me about your use… if what they had evidence of was not included in their admission then they needed to be charged extra. If the players came clean and told them why, where and when then the 50 games is penalty enough. I would like to see a collectively bargained pay scale for PED users that get the league minimum the year following their suspension. Then if a team has a long term contract the team has the option to continue with the signed contract or allow the person to become a free agent. This way we can build a history of production while the player is clean.

    • chrisHannum

      How do you feel about punishments for other cheaters like Brian Moehler and Kenny Rogers?

  • Gary W

    How can you say Prince Fielder hasn’t produced this year for the Tigers. He has been good with the bat in clutch situations and very consistent at first base. The Tigers know they have to move on without Peralta but he should be able to come back next year if he wants to.

    • chrisHannum

      Prince Fielder hasn’t produced in 2012, by his standards. Those are different from normal people’s standards. Nonetheless, this is on pace to be his worst full season in the majors, including his rookie year. He’s still an above average first baseman (at the plate, not in the field – due to that short wingspan) but he’s capable of a lot more.

  • KevinKissel

    He is taking the suspension now so he will have it out of the way, and can make lots next year as a free agent. He could have appealed the decision, and played the rest of the season. Instead he bails out on his team for his personal benefit. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass Jhonny.