MIAMI (AP) — Jhonny Peralta returned from a 50-game suspension Friday night, starting in left field for the Detroit Tigers against the Miami Marlins.
That's right, the career infielder is trying a new position in an effort to earn a spot on Detroit's postseason roster. And Peralta is so excited to be back that he's fine with the change.
"This is an emotional day for me," Peralta said. "This is where I want to be. I want to be back with the team, helping in any way I can."
Peralta was suspended for 50 games as part of baseball's investigation into Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. He played 104 games at shortstop before the punishment, but Jose Iglesias took over at that position while he was out.
Peralta prepared for his new spot by playing seven innings in left field during an instructional league game on Thursday, but he did not catch a fly ball. In fact, in 15 years as a pro baseball player, Peralta has zero outfield putouts.
"I feel comfortable judging the ball off the bat," he said. "We'll see what happens. It's a different position for me. I'm excited."
Besides defense, Peralta also has to worry about his swing. The AL Central champion Tigers want to see if he can regain his timing and earn a place on their roster for the division series.
Peralta was in the fifth spot in the lineup for the series opener at Miami, and is expected to play in all three games this weekend. Iglesias also is expected to get his first at-bats Friday since he hurt his hand on Sept. 19.
Rick Porcello, who was slated to start Friday's game, has been shifted to the bullpen, which is where manager Jim Leyland plans to use him in the postseason.
If you owe under $729k you may qualify for 3.05% APR Govt Refi Plans.