Friday, August 01, 2008

Why not: Peralta at first base
Jhonny Peralta is not a good defensive shortstop. Frankly, I doubt he'd be a good defensive anything.

But, once the disappointment of this season becomes such a routine gripe it's no longer worth discussing, people will look at the guy's stats at the plate and realize he's had a pretty productive year.

Peralta is on pace for 26 homers and 90 RBIs, which would each be career highs. He has settled in nicely at the cleanup spot in the batting order.

Most, if they are willing to discuss a Peralta move, seem to want to put him at third. People who saw him play there in Buffalo have said he was worse there than at short.

Assuming Travis Hafner returns at designated hitter (which, granted, is assuming a lot) and the Indians are serious about playing Josh Barfield at second and Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop, Peralta will need a position.

First base was DH before DH was cool. It's where you used to stick bad fielders who could rake. Peralta could find a home there.

Peralta is listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. He's 26. His range will only get worse.

Moving him to first could benefit the Indians defense, which would probably still be rough with Peralta at third.

Just something to think about.



At 5:19 PM , Anonymous Erik said...

If Peralta can't play third, the answer might be to simply trade him. If he's hitting like he is now, the haul would likely be somewhere north of what Shapiro got for a career-year Casey Blake. Judging how manic-depressive Peralta's bat is, maybe it would be best to deal him when he's swinging a good stick.

I can see the logic in the argument to move Peralta to 1B, but I don't see him as a longterm 1B. Peralta might not be an athletic freak, but he's athletic enough to at least play a semi-competent SS. I'd rather save 1B for the the fat, the super-slow and the knee-impaired.

In other words, the Indians already have enough 1B/DH types. Even if you take Garko out of the equation, you still have to consider that Victor Martinez might become more of a 1B candidate with a bad elbow. That is, if Shoppach continues to hit.

You can't DH Martinez on the days he doesn't catch because that spot is reserved for Pronk and his eight-figure contract, whether he lives up to it or not.

Then you have Matt LaPorta, who might end up back at 1B if he proves to be too much of a liability in the outfield.

There is just no room at the inn for Jhonny Peralta as a 1B here. If AsCab is the SS of the future and Peralta can't play third, his next stop is another organization.


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