By Ashley Dunkak
Since playing his first game with the Detroit Tigers on Aug. 2 after being traded from the Boston Red Sox, rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias has batted .298 and made a number of dazzling plays in the field. He has done so well, including recently returning from shin splints and hitting his second home run as a Tiger, that many fans may have temporarily forgotten about the player Iglesias replaced, veteran Jhonny Peralta.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said again Monday that Detroit has yet to make a decision about Peralta.
Peralta, who was suspended Aug. 5 along with other Major League Baseball players for using performance-enhancing substances, is nearing the end of his 50-game ban. The end date is Sept. 26, and Peralta could start a rehab stint in about a week. Since the Tigers’ triple-A and single-A teams did not qualify for the postseason and their double-A team has already been eliminated from the playoffs, though, there are not many options for Peralta.
It looks like the highest level of baseball Peralta could be “rehabbing” with would be the Florida instructional league. Without a set schedule of games against other teams, the league is where teams send lower-level players to get extra work after the season has ended, and playing there does not count as a rehab assignment. That league begins Sept. 19, however, and it is one of few options for Peralta to get back into the swing of baseball if the Tigers indeed want him back.
With as well as Iglesias has played, though, how much the Tigers want Peralta back is debatable.