Here’s Jhonny! Yesterday Jhonny Peralta returned from a 50 game suspension in a position that was completely foreign to him. No, not just having to adjust to playing after such a long absence, but playing left field. It is a bold, innovative way to try and incorporate Jhonny Peralta, while also trying to fill one of the Detroit Tigers‘ biggest holes which has been filling that sixth spot in the lineup. Andy Dirks and Matt Tuiasosopo have not worked out at all and it’s painfully obvious to them it hasn’t by trying to make the slow Jhonny Peralta patrol the outfield. If you thought Delmon Young was hard to watch run around, just wait until you see Peralta.
So how will this move impact the Tigers? One thing we know is it will impact them in either a positive or negative way. The team could rally around Peralta and he could add a desperately needed bat to the lineup leading to a huge spark from the team. If Peralta struggles however, makes a critical error in the outfield or becomes a distraction, you will see a giant tornado of negativity not seen on this team since Jose Valverde. One thing I think everyone can agree on is, Jim Leyland is not afraid to gamble with his team.
The jury is still out on whether this was the right move, but the way the Tigers’ offense has been, you cannot blame Jim Leyland for trying it. His managerial life is on the line and it makes sense to trust Jhonny Peralta more than Dirks or Tuiasosopo. They still do not have to start Peralta in the postseason and can reevaluate based on how he looks. Once Jim Leyland kicks the tires on something though, he usually ends up buying the car ,so don’t be surprised if Jhonny Peralta not only plays in the postseason but is a major factor in how this team performs in the postseason.