The Detroit Tigers announced that Jhonny Peralta, suspended since Aug. 5 for PED use related to the Biogenesis fiasco, will rejoin the team on Wednesday. He'll be able to workout and practice leading up to Sept. 27, when his 50-game suspension is completed and he's allowed to play again. At that point, the Tigers would have three regular season games left.
But wait a second, general manager Dave Dombrowski didn't say the Tigers would activate Peralta. In fact, he said if Peralta were to re-join the active roster he wouldn't be the starting shortstop anymore. That job now belongs to rookie Jose Iglesias, who the Tigers acquired from the Boston Red Sox at the July trade deadline. Peralta, instead, would be prepped for more of a utility role, from the sound of things.
The team released a pretty ho-hum statement about the situation — read it here — but the Tigers beat reporters have more.
Dombrowski: "There really is an obligation that comes to giving him a chance to come back and we'll make a baseball decision at some point."
— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) September 10, 2013
Dombrowski: "Really, you are under some obligation to attempt to try to give him the opportunity to come back." — Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) September 10, 2013
According to MLB's collective bargaining agreement, Peralta is allowed to work out before games, but he can't be in uniform on the field when gates open at the stadium. He's scheduled to address his teammates and talk to the media on Wednesday after his first workout.
It will be fascinating to see how the Tigers handle Peralta's activation and potential spot on their postseason roster, much like it will be for fellow Biogenesis suspendee Nelson Cruz and the Texas Rangers. They sound a bit more committed at this point to bringing back their suspended star.
The Tigers have been just fine without Peralta, but having a veteran around to pinch-hit and fill-in around the infield would sure be handy in the postseason. Ultimately, the Tigers — like the Giants did last season with Melky Cabrera — will have to decide whether the plusses of having Peralta around outweigh the controversy that would come along with bringing him back for the playoffs.