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Five Shortstop Options the Detroit Tigers Should Explore If Jhonny Peralta is Suspended for PEDs

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Five Shortstop Options the Detroit Tigers Should Explore If Jhonny Peralta is Suspended for PEDs
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Jhonny Peralta greets Don Kelly after Kelly's 2011 homer at Dodger Stadium.

COMMENTARY | The All-Star break is usually a happy time for teams and players across Major League Baseball.

However, that won't be the case when the 84th Midsummer Classic and its festivities come to a close. Several teams will be scrambling to cope with the latest black cloud cast over the sport.

Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball is expected to suspend up to 20 players that were linked to the Biogenesis scandal, including Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Peralta had a surprisingly hot start to the season, hitting .339/.382/.493 with six home runs, 26 RBIs, and a .881 OPS through June 11.

He's cooled off since then, but was named to his second All-Star team thanks to his .298/.356/.435 slash, seven homers, 42 RBIs, and a .791 OPS.

The details of the suspensions -- besides the ones expected to be handed down to Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun -- remain to be seen. The usual penalty for first time performance-enhancing drug offenders is 50 games, such as the one Melky Cabrera was given after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in August 2012.

The Tigers will already be shopping near the trade deadline for bullpen help -- now a replacement shortstop may be added to their wish list.

Here are five options the Tigers should consider targeting as a quick fix if Peralta is indeed suspended:

Omar Quintanilla - New York Mets

A grizzled veteran, Omar Quintanilla took over at shortstop for the Metropolitans after starter Ruben Tejada landed on the DL with a quad injury.

Through 37 games this season, Quintanilla has hit .246/.319/.359 with two home runs, 17 runs scored, and 13 RBIs.

The 31-year-old has been a career backup, only surpassing 200 at bats once, way back in 2008. He won't provide much at the plate with his career .244/.286/.312 slash, but his .983 career fielding percentage in eight seasons at shortstop is a nice plus given his role.

Josh Harrison - Pittsburgh Pirates

Could Tigers' fans ever imagine the man that broke up Justin Verlander's no-hitter last season sporting the Old English D?

Well, it could happen.

Josh Harrison has experienced the ups and downs in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization after struggling to his talent together in the big leagues.

The 26-year-old has had only 14 at-bats with the Pirates this season, resulting in two hits. But he's experienced success at Triple A, where he boasts a .317 average, four home runs, 34 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases.

Though the young Pirates are bound to be buyers at the trade deadline, there's a possibility the Tigers could land Harrison in a package deal, say for a piece.

Brendan Ryan - Seattle Mariners

It's no secret that the Seattle Mariners are trying to rebuild, so parting ways with shortstop Brendan Ryan makes sense in that regard.

Ryan isn't known for his offense, and it's not hard to see why. He's hit .198/.259/.273 with three homers and 17 RBIs in 72 games this season. He does possess an above average glove, though, posting a career .978 fielding percentage in seven seasons at the position.

The 31-year-old shortstop doesn't wow fans, but as a rental, he wouldn't need to. Plus, he's probably the cheapest option out of this group.

Jonathan Herrera - Colorado Rockies

Jonathan Herrera has played just about everywhere for baseball's biggest surprise this season, the Colorado Rockies.

Herrera has a .279 average, one home run, 11 RBIs, and 12 runs scored in 122 at-bats this season. He's played four different positions during that time, boasting a .983 fielding percentage while filling in for the injured Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop.

At 28-years-old, Herrera would be a nice rental with the Tigers. However, he'd probably be the most difficult player in this group to acquire, as the Rockies seem pleased with his ability to successfully play multiple positions.

Dee Gordon - Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers envisioned Dee Gordon as their future at shortstop not long ago. But with money seemingly endless in La-La Land and Hanley Ramirez returning to his former position successfully, it's likely that Gordon is expendable.

Gordon has been in the minors since the end of May after hitting .175 with one homer, five RBIs, and five steals.

He's been much better in Triple A, though, posting a .291/.387/.394 slash while scoring 49 runs and swiping 34 bags.

At 25-years-old, Gordon will likely be the priciest option in this group, but he'd be well worth it. Peralta will be a free agent after the end of the season, and depending on how the Biogenesis scandal transpires, the Tigers may opt to move in a different direction for their future. Gordon would be perfect for this situation -- he's shown that he can be effective at the major league level, all he needs is a chance.

There's no doubt the Tigers will miss Peralta's bat and presence at shortstop if suspended, even for a short amount of games. If all else fails with replacement options through a trade, the team could always resort to internal options, such as Ramon Santiago, Hernan Perez, or everyone's favorite utility man, Don Kelly.

Ricky Lindsay has followed the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball with a close eye from Metro Detroit for several years. He's the sports editor for his college newspaper, The Michigan Journal, and broadcasts games for the Michigan Lightning, a semi-professional football team.

You can find him on Twitter @RLindz35.

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