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 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.