By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – The suspension of Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun could spell bad news for Detroit Tiger Jhonny Peralta. The names of both MLB players appeared in a list of around 20 who were linked to now-closed anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, which was connected to performance-enhancing drugs.
Braun – who vigorously denied using performance-enhancing drugs in the past – has accepted a 65-game suspension for violating MLB’s drug use policy, ending his 2013 season.
News broke earlier this summer that Major League Baseball would be handing out suspensions related to use of performance-enhancing drugs. Braun, a five-time All-Star and 2011 NL MVP, was on that list along with other big names including Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Tigers shortstop Peralta.
Peralta, who bats sixth in the Tigers lineup behind the power trio of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez, had eight home runs and 46 RBIs through Monday. Those numbers do not project to be significantly better than statistics he had put up in previous years.
Through Monday, Peralta’s batting average was .305, and his on-base percentage was .363. If he sustained those numbers throughout the season, they would both be around 30 points higher than his career averages. Another area in which Peralta’s statistics are slightly higher than usual is hits – 107 through the first 92 games of the season. If he kept up that pace, he would finish with approximately 188 hits, 21 more than his career high in 2008.
Of course, a year of statistics being better than normal hardly proves use of performance-enhancing drugs. A place on the list of players linked to Biogenesis, a list from which one player has already been suspended, looks more suspicious.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said weeks ago that he would not comment on the reports and would not say whether he was working on a contingency plan in case Peralta were to be suspended.