The Detroit Tigers have an everyday shortstop. His name is Jose Iglesias. What they don't have right now is an everyday left fielder. But that could change. Tigers manager Jim Leyland re-emphasized Monday that suspended infielder Jhonny Peralta will not return as the primary shortstop if he rejoins the team later this month. And as of today all signs seem to point to the 31-year-old returning for the Tigers' final regular-season series in Miami -- possibly as their new left fielder. Leyland confirmed Peralta who is 10 days from completing a 50-game suspension will report to the Florida Instructional League later this week and play exclusively in left field. Why left field? Simple. It's seemingly the only position where Peralta could see consistent playing time with the Tigers. Every other position is filled. The Tigers are comfortable starting Andy Dirks a left-handed hitter in left against right-handed starters but as of now the Tigers are in need of right-handed batting support. Matt Tuiasosopo a minor-league free agent signed over the offseason filled that role admirably in the first half hitting .329 with eight homers and 22 RBIs in 42 games. But Tuiasosopo has struggled since the All-Star break batting just .190 with 23 strikeouts. When asked if moving Peralta to left is an attempt to address the right-handed hitting woes Leyland admitted that it's "probably part of the equation." "The other part of the equation is as (Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski) said we have our shortstop" Leyland said.
Suspended infielder Jhonny Peralta could solve Detroit Tigers' glaring weakness in left field
Michigan Live | Sep 17