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The Shortstop Conundrum of the Detroit Tigers

August 6, 2013 will forever go down as one of the singularly most important days in baseball history, for better or for worse. It’s on this day that the most players were suspended simultaneously for PED violations. Among them were Minor League lifers, unemployed players, Major League contributors and even a few all-stars. Also included on the list is Tiger shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Enjoying a particularly productive campaign, Peralta was one of the key cogs of a Tigers offense that ranked among the deepest and not to mention the best in the league, but with him going down for the next 50 games due to the suspension, it’s uncertain whether he will figure into the Tigers’ plans should they make the playoffs. So much is in the air with regards to the team, and it’s unfair that someone who has admitted to using PEDs is now probably going to have some impact on how the pennant race ultimately goes down. The Tigers however are not afraid of the current situation and they move forward knowing that their goal of winning the World Series remains unchanged even with the suspension taking place.

Detroit-TigersIn anticipation of the leaked reports stating that Peralta was indeed likely to be affected by the much rumored about suspensions, the Tigers went out into the trade market looking for someone who could hold down his place as he served his time. What the Tigers found had to delight them to no end as they saw young shortstop Jose Iglesias, formerly of the Boston Red Sox, being dangled around as trade bait and they decided to pounce. Iglesias is widely regarded as a plus defender at his position, and that’s essential to the Tigers given how awful their infield defense and how important that particular spot is. Peralta himself was not a bad defender but his size did limit his range quite a bit, a problem that’s not going to come up with Iglesias. His glove is second to none and he helps add dynamism to an infield defense that has been sorely lacking it. The one knock against Iglesias however was that he couldn’t hit, or at least not very well. There was evidence backing that up as well as he had struggled to hit throughout his minor league career, but Iglesias has certainly done his part to do away with this notion. Since coming up with the Red Sox, Iglesias has done nothing but hit in the Majors. The enthusiasm needs to be a tempered just a bit though as his underlying stats suggest that he has been a bit lucky and that he will be pressed to keep this up for an extended period of time.

Regardless of how Iglesias hits down the stretch or whether Peralta will be back for the stretch run, the Tigers have certainly done what they can to ensure that they are in the best position to succeed. It’s clear that no suspension will be able to hinder their hopes of winning it all come October.

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