Jhonny Peralta has received his suspension. We've waited for some time to see first whether Peralta would be wrapped up in the MLB sweep of the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, and then how it might effect both him and the Tigers.
The official MLB Biogenesis press release was expected at 3 PM eastern, but FOX Sport's Ken Rosenthal reports Peralta is one of 12 players who have accepted 50-game suspensions for their involvement with the Biogenesis wellness clinic and suspected use of PEDs. Also suspended are the Rangers' Nelson Cruz, Phlllies’ Antonio Bastardo, Mets' Jordany Valdespin, Padres’ Everth Cabrera, Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli, Mariners’ Jesus Montero, Mets’ Cesar Puello, Astros’ Sergio Escalona, Padres’ Fautino De Los Santos and the Yankees’ Fernando Martinez. Making it an even dozen suspensions is Jordan Norberto, currently a free agent.
Peralta will be eligible to return to the team for the final series of the season, three games in Miami with the Marlins. Jason Beck of MLB.com tweets the Tigers are expected to recall Hernan Perez from Triple-A Toledo to take Peralta's roster spot.
The only player to reportedly appeal will be the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. There's been no word as of yet as to the length of his suspension, but it is thought to be through the end of the 2014 season.
The suspension has always been a possibility, and Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski all but acknowledged the punishment when he acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox on Tuesday. Speaking earlier in the week, Dombrowski told reporters that he didn't know what was going to happen, but he was going to take precautions anyway. "There's a lot of uncertainty (with Peralta), which concerned me, especially with our scenario of trying to win a championship," Dombrowski told the Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski. Whether Dombrowski knows more than he says in the press is an oft-debated subject, though it seems likely that he should have better info than the rest of us.
Even though the Tigers took precautions, this is obviously a setback for the team. Peralta was enjoying a real bounce-back season for the Tigers, batting .307/.363/.460. Despite limited range in the field, making the best of his range has helped Peralta to be an above-average fielder in the eyes of one defensive metric, and only slightly below average according to another. That has made him one of the most valuable shortstops in the game this year.
Iglesias, though a human highlight reel with the glove, has much work to be done with the bat. Even though he started the season on fire -- earning rookie of the month honors in June -- when balls aren't finding holes, he struggles. He has neither power nor the desire to take walks. While undoubtedly he's an upgrade over what the Tigers' internal options at the position would have been, he's a downgrade from what Peralta would have provided during the final two months of the year.
This shouldn't derail the Tigers from championship dreams, but obviously it cannot be seen as anything less than a real setback to the team.