We heard that suspended player Jhonny Peralta would be joining the Detroit Tigers for workouts starting on Wednesday, and now we have visual proof of that event occurring. A tweet by radio play-by-play man Dan Dickerson shows Peralta working out with members of the coaching staff… in LEFT FIELD.
— Dan Dickerson (@Dan_Dickerson) September 11, 2013
The possibility of using Peralta in the outfield has been a point of discussion among Tigers fans recently. He would certainly seem to bring a more reliable bat to the right-handed hitting side of the platoon than Matt Tuiasosopo or even Nick Castellanos would, but I remain skeptical that Jhonny could play anything close to respectable defense in the outfield. The aforementioned offense would offset poor defense to some degree, but we’d be reaching the point of ‘why not just keep Dirks in the game against lefties?’
I think the photo proves that the Tigers are at least interested in exploring the idea — so point to those who think it’s a possibility — but the fact that he’s working out in the outfield doesn’t mean that it’s likely that he’ll ever play there in a meaningful game. The Tigers lose nothing by experimenting a little, but I doubt if this is anything more than an experiment for now.
It’s probably also relevant and interesting to note that the Oakland Athletics — the Tigers’ most likely ALDS opponent — don’t have a lefty in their rotation. The Boston Red Sox will likely only have one come the postseason, the Rays and Rangers and each have two, and longer-shots like the Orioles, Indians, and Royals each would only have one. This is to say that potential opportunities for for wanting a right-handed hitting left fielder in the starting lineup will likely be few in October.
It certainly is intriguing to see that Jhonny is getting some outfield work in, but I don’t think there’s a big deal to be made here just yet.