Do Tigers have to worry about a shortstop?

Here’s the statement Jhonny Peralta’s attorney, Barry Boss, made on his behalf after a Sports Illustrated report in early February said Peralta’s name was found in records from the Biogenesis clinic:

“I have never used performance-enhancing drugs. Period. Anybody who says otherwise is lying.”

Four months later, you wonder if this case is going to come down to that: Anthony Bosch telling investigators something about Peralta and/or other clients, and attorneys questioning the credibility of Bosch and his connections.

Nobody can predict how that goes, which is why it’s way too early to make any declarations on Peralta’s situation or the Tigers’ lack of obvious replacements.

At this point, the reports leave a major mystery surrounding Peralta. Unlike several others linked in reports to Biogenesis, there’s still no mention where Peralta shows up in the records. Nothing mentions any numbers next to Peralta’s name, any code name, any receipts. At this point, we’re left to guess what a mention means.

The original report in SI said Peralta doesn’t appear to be tied directly to PEDs in the records, which would explain why Miami New Times didn’t include his name in its original story. ESPN’s Outside the Lines story Tuesday night didn’t make a specific connection to a document, either.

It could be up to Bosch to try to make a connection, if there is any. It could be up to attorneys to try to make or break that case.

One thing about that process: It would not likely be quick.

Major League Baseball will want to make sure the case was tight before pursuing it, which would seemingly go against the report that suspensions could be announced within a couple weeks.

The MLB Players Association would have its say, potentially with a grievance through arbitration, which would add more time to the process. The arbitration process for Ryan Braun after his reported positive test two offseasons ago took a little over four months.

Take in all the factors, and the idea of the Tigers being without a shortstop in a couple weeks seems a bit premature. Depending on how the process goes, the Tigers could end up doing the same thing they were on track to do all along, looking at their options for a shortstop in the offseason.

That said, it’s a reminder just how thin the Tigers are at short. Utilityman Ramon Santiago has filled in for stretches at shortstop over the last several years, but he’ll turn 34 at the end of August, and he has looked overmatched at the plate. Omar Infante came up as a shortstop through the Tigers system, but that was more than a decade ago, and he hasn’t played a game at short since 2010. Danny Worth has missed just under two months with a bruised heel and is working out in extended Spring Training. Hernan Perez (a second baseman who can play shortstop) and Eugenio Suarez (a shortstop) are budding prospects at Double-A Erie, but even getting them ready for next year might be an aggressive timetable.

27 Comments

Hopefully, Peralt will be exonerated and this is a moot discussion – especially since he’s having such a great year. However, if we need a shortstop that bad, why isn’t Nick C a viable option?? Since he played 3B, isn’t there a thought that he could also play SS? I know they’ve just moved him to LF for the foreseeable future – but it would seem his ability to play the infield (if you can play 3B, seems you could play SS or 2B) would also make it more likely for a mid-season call-up. He’s young, has speed, and likely a great arm – guess the question is his lateral mobility and hands. Much harder to convert an OFer to INFer (ala Raburn) than the other way around, it seems – so he should be able to re-learn how to ‘ride the bike’, per se…

There is a huge difference between corner and middle infield.

I suppose you could say ‘it’s a huge difference’ to play *at a major league level*… and yet, you see transitions for various players going from SS to 3B, vice versa, and similar… The real question was – from an organizational level, and from Nick’s talent level – *could* he do it…

I absolutely can’t remember if Nick C ever played SS. Half my brain says yes and half no. Did he?

The worst thing that can happen right now is for Peralta to be hounded by out of town media. Quiet guy.

The biggest concern is that we have no depth in the middle infield in our system. Worth has been hurt and the other prospects are too young for a team like Detroit.

No need to panic by giving up a Porcello or Smyly or Tuisosopo to obtain some half-baked temporary replacement. DD is already under pressure with the bullpen. How would he have known that Alburqueque, Villareal, Dotel and Coke would all be ineffective at the same time?

Makes you wonder not just because of this..but why there isn’t anything in the pipeline to play short……even if it were just an injury.

They draft a lot of pitchers and they struck out on some of the prospects, like Cale Iorg.

I really don’t think Peralta is going to be suspended this season.

I don’t either. It’s pretty obvious based on last years stats JP wasn’t using or was taking the wrong stuff.

actually i would suggest he was using the season before last, which would explain his good numbers that season and his crap-tastic numbers last season….and maybe even that 15lbs he lost in the offseason. o_O

Peralta’s connection to this issue is quite likely very superficial if not down right incorrect.
This is a bridge not yet built (seems there is another bridge to Detroit in the same stage!!).
As to depth, that is a concern as Suarez and Machado are a long way off.
Castellanos playing short is a stretch. Here’s an idea: why not move Castellanos to 3rd and move Miggy to short? The guy can do everything else!!!! (tongue firmly in cheek).
The big question, and a serious one, is how this affects JP’s play. Right now he is an integral part of what production we have in the bottom half of the lineup and his defense has been better than could have been expected.

MLB wants this issue in their rear view mirror before the All-Star break. Not sure that timetable is realistic. They also are trying to bump up the penalty to knock the players out of the remainder of the season much like what happened to Melky Cabrera last season. This is America and I believe that all of them remain innocent until proven guilty. Then again, does baseball justice really equate to what will normally happen in the judicial system?? Time will tell.

I mentioned this last story but – there is probably no way jhonny hits this well through the season. he probably starts going ice cold here soon. and what’s the difference between a jhonny who isn’t hitting and someone else who can’t hit? answer: they can probably bunt, run and have some range. something jhonny doesn’t have.

I doubt he’ll continue to hit .340, but I don’t think he’s going to go .220 the rest of the season either. And he still has some pop, even when his average suffers, giving him a positive WAR (using baseball-reference calculations). His defense has been much-debated, but how many games have the Tigers lost because he didn’t get to a ball? Not that it is a perfect stat, but he does have a positive Defensive WAR each of the past 4 years. He is one of a number of relative slugs on the basepaths, though, I do agree.

fair enough.
.
BUT if I told someone before this season that jhonny would be hitting .340 with an ops near .900 this deep into the season they would have said “I don’t think he’s going to go .340 through that many games”. They’re both crazy!

MLBPA:
“The Players Association has been in regular contact with the Commissioner’s Office regarding the Biogenesis investigation. They are in the process of interviewing players, and every player has been or will be represented by an attorney from the Players Association. The Commissioner’s Office has assured us that no decisions regarding discipline have been made or will be made until those interviews are completed. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged those investigations. The Players Association has every interest in both defending the rights of players and in defending the integrity of our joint program. We trust that the Commissioner’s Office shares these interests.”

Meanwhile, Chris Perez is having a high old time.

should have had it sent to his friends house

Stuff like this drives me crazy when it is all speculation based on small leaks of information. They should try to have a plan in case something happens but I hate to see Omar moved over, he is doing just fine at 2nd and after him having a rough adjustment last year when he got here I hate to throw him back into something like that. I do think Jhonny will continue to be hot this year, maybe not blistering as he has been but I think we will see more 2011 JP rather than 2012 JP and I am fine with his range at short, I don’t think his range has cost us many games but his bat has helped us many games. There likely is a stat to prove me wrong but not interested in looking it up – I prefer going with my gut! Either way, I hope all this press right now does not cause issues with his current playing. If he is lying and he was involved it would be bothering him and affecting play, if he is telling the truth and he wasn’t involved it would still bother his play being wrongly accused. I no-win situation right now.

Rose was suspended for life based on the testimony of a bets broker.
The innocence presumption has no play there because MLB is not a government agency. Responsibility for doping is objective so no guilt must be proved.
We are ready to absolve Peralta, but most condemned Bonds who never tested positive
Steroids are illegal but PED? Has never been proved. Hitting a HR is not only matter of strength.
HGH? totally useless but to cut fat

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When Ryan Braun’s arbitration case came in, I was interning at the headquarters of Minor League Baseball, in their legal department. Right up until the decision came in, there was a difference of opinion regarding the final outcome. As an attorney, I am certain that there are many potential paths this could take, and it is definitely speculation to pronounce, with any degree of certainty, what the end result will be. It is also speculation to pronounce, with any degree of certainty, what should or should not be done with lineups, pitching changes, etc and how the season will or should turn out. But we all do it, because that’s what being a baseball fan is!

hey that’s cool (that you worked there)!

Yeah, and their General Counsel, Scott Poley, is a huge Tigers fan from Michigan!

Absolutely. These are best guesses, and it’s all for fun and discussion. Baseball is not serious in the larger scheme of things.

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