DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Speaking for the first time since the Tigers traded for shortstop Jose Iglesias, Jhonny Peralta — ensnared in a steroids scandal — had nothing but positive things to say.
“I hear he’s a really good guy and, it’s good to come here to Detroit and we’ll see what happens with him in the future,” Peralta said about Iglesias, who is clearly waiting in the wings in case Peralta is suspended.
The New York Daily News reported late Tuesday three 2013 All-Stars could face bans stemming from a report by Biogenesis that links them to PED use, including Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera and Peralta. A 50-game suspension was predicted by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
On whether he will be suspended, Peralta said, “I try to play this game, I know I’m still here so I don’t worry about nothing. I try to play this game today.”
Is it hard to keep it out of his mind?
“It’s hard a little bit, but I need to forget about it and try to move on and try to do what I need to do,” Peralta said.
He wouldn’t comment on any reaction he would have to a suspension. “I’ll try to see what’s better for everybody, and see what all can happen,” was all he would say.
On his season so far, he said, “I feel really good, I feel I’m doing a really good job and I think this is the best year I’ve had right now for me. I try to keep going and see what happens.”
“It’s going to be a disappointment (if I’m suspended), but there’s nothing that I can go, I try to do the best I can do and try to help everybody here.
On proving his innocence, he would only say, he “tries to play his best every day” without “trying to worry about what other people say.”
According to CBS Detroit’s Ashley Dunkak, Dombrowski said late Tuesday Iglesias can play second base as well as third and shortstop.
But it sounded like Dombrowski had all but moved on from Peralta.
“I’m not anointing our club for next year, but we think [Iglesias is] ready to be our shortstop,” Dombrowski said. “I’ll be surprised if he’s not our shortstop. We’re not going to look for another shortstop, but I’m not ready to anoint him that at this time. But we really like him a lot.”
Since Peralta is a free agent after this season, the Tigers had already been researching shortstops, Dombrowski said, but they were not willing to trade a great prospect for a shortstop that would only be a response to Peralta’s possible suspension.
“I didn’t want to do that for a guy who was here for two months,” Dombrowski said, “but a guy who might, probably, be our shortstop for, I don’t know how many years when you get past free agency, but that can play shortstop the next half-dozen years here, that’s a very valuable person.”
Dombrowski also seems to be setting a high standard for the former Boston Red Sox third baseman.
“Our scouting reports have him as an All-Star shortstop,” Dombrowski said. “I don’t know if he’ll be that or not, but some of our scouting reports do. But somebody that has seen him play just sent me a note and said, ‘For all my years in the game, the only two defensive shortstops I’ve seen that are better are Ozzie and Vizquel.’”
Ozzie as in Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, and VIzquel as in 11-time Gold Glove recipient Omar Vizquel.