Peralta to begin working out with Tigers
Jhonny Peralta is rejoining the Tigers to begin working out with the club, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski announced Tuesday.
The move is the first step towards the Tigers deciding what to do with their former shortstop once he’s eligible to return from his 50-game suspension Sept. 26. No final decision has been made, Dombrowski cautioned, but the workouts will be part of the process in deciding whether he can fit in, on and off the field.
“There has been no decision made regarding Peralta’s return to the active roster,” the Tigers said in a statement. “It is an organizational decision to allow Jhonny to workout with the club in order to see if it will be in the best interest of the team to have him return at the end of his suspension.”
Peralta will join the Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field Wednesday afternoon prior to their series finale against the White Sox. He will address the team at his request, then take pregame batting practice.
By rule, Peralta is allowed to work out with the club on the field until the gates open at the ballpark. After that, he can remain in the clubhouse.
Peralta received a 50-game suspension Aug. 5 for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. By electing not to appeal the suspension, Peralta allowed himself a chance to finish the discipline this season, before he hits the free agent market. He also allowed himself to be eligible for postseason play.
Peralta is eligible to rejoin the team for its final series of the regular season, a three-game set against the Marlins in Miami. Whether the Tigers welcome him back is a decision the club has to make.
In the statement, the Tigers said the decision to bring back Peralta for workouts was “in accordance with the protocols outlined by Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.”
The one certainty about a potential Peralta return is that it will not be at his old spot. Dombrowski said he told Peralta he will not win back the everyday shortstop job, a role rookie Jose Iglesias took over after Peralta’s suspension.
If Peralta rejoins the roster, then, it will have to be in a utility role. With that in mind, Dombrowski said Peralta will work out at multiple infield positions.
At some point next week, Dombrowski said Peralta will begin playing Instructional League games at the Tigers’ Spring Training facility in Lakeland, Fla. With no minor-league affiliates still playing, it’s the closest the Tigers could come to sending out Peralta on a rehab assignment to get live game action.