Jhonny Peralta‘s 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenisis scandal has ended, and reports are that the Detroit Tigers are planning on bringing him back to the team to help out in any way he can in the postseason.
The Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias at the trade deadline, and they have no plans to remove him from his position. Peralta likely won’t take any time from Iglesias at shortstop, but having him on the bench as a back-up plan makes the most sense. Iglesias also suffered an injury a few days ago, so there is a possibility that he may play in one of the Tigers’ final three games of the regular season against the Miami Marlins at short.
Peralta can also help the Tigers at other positions. The Tigers have had Peralta playing left field over the past few days for the Tigers’ Instructional League team in Florida. Peralta would likely take playing time away from Matt Tuiasosopo if he were to play left against left-handed pitchers, but Tuiasosopo hasn’t been hitting like he was at the beginning of the season, so Peralta should be an improvement.
The Tigers could also use Peralta at third base if Miguel Cabrera suffers a setback from his injury. At this point in his career, Peralta is more suited to play third base anyway. Cabrera’s range has been limited for two months due to a hip injury, and it makes sense to play Peralta at third and let Cabrera hit as a designated hitter.
The downside to this move is that it would require Victor Martinez to play catcher. Martinez has made a few starts at the position this season, and with their final series of the season being against an inter-league opponent, the Tigers would be wise to experiment with this lineup. However, playing Martinez at catcher means Alex Avila must sit, and he has been coming around at the plate lately as well.
Peralta has done his time, and while there may be some negative reaction to the Tigers bringing him back, the main goal for this team is winning a championship. With Peralta on the roster, the Tigers are a better team. They might as well bring him back while they have him under contract, as he will be a free agent at the end of the season.