Jhonny Peralta has never been a burner on the base paths and has never been a 30 home run guy, but he has been a consistent option at shortstop for the Detroit Tigers. Peralta won’t impress you with his range but he will make every single routine play.
This off-season he’s been working on making that last statement a thing of the past. He don’t want to be thought of a “safe” and “reliable” shortstop, not that those descriptions are bad but he wants to be more than that even at the age of 30.
Peralta was tossed around in trade rumors all winter and the Tigers did contemplate making deals with the Baltimore Orioles and even the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many fans (including myself) were happy to hear this and were hoping something would materialize sending the aging veteran to another team for a younger and quicker option.
As you can tell nothing came of these rumors and Peralta will be starting the 2013 season with the Tigers. The biggest reason why he’s been scrutinized in the last few years has been because of his lack of range defensively and rightfully so. There’s reason to believe he will be better this year in that aspect of his game.
Peralta has worked hard this off-season after his worst statistical season since he made it to the big leagues. He’s lost somewhere around 20 pounds this winter according to Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and Peralta himself. This is amazing news to Tigers fans who have been calling for a improvement at the shortstop position. It’s important to be rational about this great news as well, will he be diving into the deep hole between himself and Miguel Cabrera playing third base, scooping the ball off the freshly groomed infield and throwing a guy out from his knees? Of course not but he will most certainly be better.
Not only should this improve his fielding but this should also help him at the plate after a dismal year hitting .239 with only 13 home runs and 63 RBI’s. I don’t anticipate him to be the 2011 version of himself where he had a career year hitting .299 with 86 RBI’s but I would like to think he will be much more productive than 2012.
I was against bringing him back this season for the money that he’s being paid but the Tigers could be much worse off. I really like Peralta and wish him well but I could see this being his last season in Detroit. Hopefully I’m wrong and he comes back this year with a great comeback season but I see this ending with him packing his bags.