When the Tigers announced Jhonny Peralta would begin working out with the the team last week, the most interesting nugget of information was not that of his return. It was Peralta would be working out both as an infielder and outfielder.
With Matt Tuiasosopo's numbers regressing considerably in the second half and Nick Castellanos showing he's not yet ready, it was thought that, just maybe, the Tigers were considering Peralta for the right-handed side of a left field platoon.
The Detroit News' Lynn Henning confirms the team is quite serious about Peralta playing left field.
Peralta leaving Wednesday for Instructiomnal League.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) September 16, 2013
Peralta will play LF.— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) September 16, 2013
Peralta will continue working out with the Tigers before reporting to the Instructional League on Wednesday. Once there, he will play left field exclusively. To this point of his big league career, Peralta has performed strictly on the left side of the infield, save for three short appearances at first base. "Outfielder" has not been on his resume. Until now.
GM Dave Dombrowski has confirmed Peralta will play in the final series of the 2013 regular season, three games against the Miami Marlins.
Jim Leyland stated Peralta's moving to left is due to the Tigers looking for a right-hand hitting platoon partner for Andy Dirks. He also made sure to point out Jose Iglesias will remain the Tigers' starting shortstop.
When the Biogenesis suspensions went down, Peralta was having a career season, hitting .305/.361/.461, with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. His .822 OPS is still third best on the team, behind only Miguel Cabrera (1.097) and Prince Fielder (.824).
At this point, it seems a near certainty Peralta will be on the Tigers' post season roster. It also appears Tuiasosopo's second half struggles may make him the odd man out.