On a night the Peoria Chiefs honored our country’s military, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta made his second rehab start. Needless to say, he’s still searching for his swing.
Fans packed Dozer Park Saturday night to watch the St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta play in his second rehab start in as many nights.
Friday night Peralta played four innings in the field and couldn’t pick up a hit. He did the same on Saturday night.
According to baseball-reference, it was Peralta’s first start at third base since 2010 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers. He helped turn a 5-4-3 double play in the top of the fourth inning.
Although Peralta couldn’t pick up a hit Saturday night, he did manage to get the ball up. His first out was a fly ball to center that had fans excited. His second out though was a lazy pop-up to second base.
From what I observed, and I rarely ever use “I” in my posts, Peralta’s thumb looked pretty good. He was even able to sign autographs for some lucky kids before the game.
He didn’t have many chances defensively, but he made the most of the ones he had without incident. Offensively, he’s still trying to find his swing, but he’s almost there. Even against minor league pitching, it takes awhile to come back from thumb surgery.
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The pitcher he faced, left-hander Evan Manarino, is currently sporting a 1.34 ERA on the season. It certainly wasn’t some backyard baseball pitcher Peralta was tasked with facing. It was good to see him make some contact against after being out for so long.
At this point in Peralta’s rehab, you have to take each performance for what it’s worth. He just recently resumed baseball activities and this is his first live game action since his injury in spring training.
So, what’s next for Jhonny Peralta? He’ll be off on Sunday before playing games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The goal is for him to play more innings in the field and maybe get another at-bat in as the games go along.
The Cardinals project him to be ready to go by mid-June. That likely means he’ll make a stint in Class AA Springfield and Triple-A Memphis before returning to the Cardinals lineup.
As for what will happen when he returns to the majors, well that’s Mike Matheny’s problem. Albeit, it’s a good problem to have. If Aledmys Diaz continues to stay hot at the plate, he could find himself at second base with Peralta manning his usual position at short.