Jhonny Peralta might be playing his last MLB games for the Detroit Tigers whenever the team’s playoff run ends, whether it be in the ALDS, ALCS or World Series. There may not be a spot for him after this season ends unless he badly wants to play for the team and accepts a left field assignment.
But, he showed why his bat is so sorely needed in Game 4 for the team against the Oakland Athletics. Take Peralta and his home run power away, and the Tigers’ season has ended.
With the exception of Miguel Cabrera, arguably no Tigers hitter comes up with as many clutch hits as Peralta. He did it before his drug suspension from MLB, and he never lost his effectiveness with the bat. If the Tigers can extend their playoff season beyond the fifth game at Oakland, don’t be surprised if Peralta comes up with even more key hits.
He went through most of the season without major slumps and continues to keep steady. He has as much poise and confidence against any pitcher he faces, and shows this more than any other batter on the Tigers team with the possible exception of Cabrera.
Eventually when the season ends, the Tigers will have to decide if they still want Peralta. With Jose Iglesius at shortstop, his only hope may be at third base if the Tigers decide to protect Cabrera’s physical health and use him at DH, depending on what Victor Martinez does. It’s hard to see Peralta accepting a full season at left field. Many teams are likely to offer him a spot at shortstop with a decent contract.
The Tigers need to keep using Peralta effectively while they still have him.
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