Shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who is nearing the end of his 50-game suspension, is scheduled to report to the instructional league on Wednesday, which is the next step to a possible return to the Detroit Tigers.
As reported by Jason Beck and Bobby Nightengale of MLB.com, workouts begin on Thursday at the Tigers' Spring Training facility in
Lakeland, Fla. Games will begin on September 23. Although Peralta is a shortstop, he will be playing in left field, a position he has been working on with outfield coach Tom Brookens. Peralta will be facing pitching from Class A level pitchers who are working on pitches or getting more work after their season has ended.
Peralta was hitting well before his suspension and although has been limited to working out at him in the Dominican Republic, manager Jim Leyland says Peralta's bat remains strong.
"The early signs are more than positive, but we're talking about
coaches' [batting practice]," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's swinging
the bat really, really well in BP, but once again, I emphasize that is
coaches' BP. But that is a lot of games to miss and expect to come back
sharp after playing just a few games."
Leyland is unsure whether or not Peralta will be a part of the Tigers' post season roster.
"I don't know if you want to call it a long shot, if you want call it
50-50, I have no idea," Leyland said. "[President/general manager Dave
Dombrowski] will make a decision at some point."
If Peralta can come back strong, he could be a key component to the Tigers entering the post season. He was batting .305 with 11 home runs and 54 runs batted in before the suspension. Peralta is a career .268 hitter with 156 home runs and 697 runs batted in.