Age seems to finally be catching up to Jhonny Peralta. He missed the first 57 games of the year to rehab thumb surgery, then missed another 16 in July after incurring another thumb injury. As a result, Peralta played in fewer than 100 games (82) for the first time since 2004 and his offense declined nearly across the board. He owned an atrocious .182 batting average against left-handed pitching, marking the third straight year that his clip against southpaws regressed, suggesting he might be developing reverse splits. Peralta played a lot of shortstop in recent seasons but is unlikely to do so in 2017 due to the sudden rise of Aledmys Diaz. Meanwhile, Jedd Gyorko figures to at least split time with Peralta at third base, and Matt Carpenter could see time there too, as there are a lot of interchangeable pieces in the St. Louis infield. Perhaps some combination of platoon work, a healthy hand and improved performance will open up several starts per week, but Peralta's path to everyday duty relies heavily on managerial decisions and, unfortunately, injuries.
Peralta (illness) has begun taking grounders and hitting in the batting cage as part of the recovery from an adverse reaction to medication that landed him on the disabled list, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Peralta could be heading back to Florida for some extended spring training or minor-league rehab starts by the end of the coming week if all continues to go well. The veteran infielder suffered a significant scare after medication he was taking for an upper respiratory infection left him weak and lethargic. Those symptoms were largely responsible for Peralta's early-season struggles, which include nine strikeouts in his first 25 at-bats and sluggishness while playing at third base as well. Jedd Gyorko has taken over the starting duties at the hot corner in Peralta's absence and thrived, slashing .321/.397/.643 over 63 plate appearances.
Peralta (illness) could be out another week or so as he recovers from a taxing medication, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. General manager John Mozeliak said the medication Peralta is taking needs 10 to 14 days to leave the body and serves as a prerequisite to returning to baseball activities. "The biggest thing for him is getting his energy and his strength back," said the GM. "The medication he took didn't sit well, so he's seeing side effects." Peralta will continue to build up strength within the next few days and should return to a reserve infield role upon his return to action.
Peralta was placed on the DL on Thursday with an upper respiratory illness, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Peralta had seen a significant drop in playing time as of late and slid down the Cardinals' depth chart, so placing him on the DL will leave the club with one less reserve option. There's no word as to when Peralta will return, but look for him to continue his role as a backup when the time comes.
Peralta is now fourth on the depth chart at third base, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold reports. Jedd Gyorko is the starter going forward at the hot corner, and Greg Garcia and Matt Carpenter are also preferred options over Peralta at third base, according to Goold. He has a .120 average with zero extra-base hits and a 9:2 K:BB in 27 plate appearances. The veteran could certainly find his way to more playing time as the season progresses, but for now he will be lucky to receive one or two starts per week.
Peralta is not in Tuesday's lineup against the Pirates. For the third consecutive game, Peralta will head to the bench and give way to Greg Garcia at the hot corner. Due to treacherous numbers at the plate, Peralta's fantasy value is already quite low, but it will continue to drop if he continues to be omitted from the Cardinals' lineup.