The Cards just took a pretty serious blow in losing starting Short Stop Jhonny Peralta with a reported torn ligament in his left thumb. Peralta is traveling back to St. Louis to receive a second opinion on the injury and is contemplating surgery.
Any lengthy absence for Peralta would be a blow to a Cardinals club that some pundits felt was already light in terms of power production. The 33-year-old Peralta (34 in late May) appeared in 155 games for the Redbirds last season, batting .275/.334/.411 with 17 home runs. That line, while solid overall, masks what was a miserable second half of the season for the veteran infielder, though. Peralta was batting a robust .288/.345/.465 as late in the season as Aug. 4, and while the nature of that endpoint is entirely arbitrary in nature, admittedly, he slumped to a meek .246/.312/.291 batting line over his final 199 trips to the plate.
The Cardinals picked up Jedd Gyorko in an offseason swap with the Padres in part to help keep Peralta fresh and avoid a similar second-half decline. Gyorko has limited experience at shortstop but could be in line for significant playing time at the position in the event of a prolonged stint on the disabled list for Peralta. St. Louis also has infielder Greg Garcia as an option at short, and Aledmys Diaz, who signed a four-year deal as a free agent in 2014, could surface in the Majors after rebuilding his stock with a strong rebound campaign in 2015.
Unfortunately at this point in the season, there are few quality Short Stops available so the Cardinals may have to make due with what’s already in their system.
ScoutsEdit: Peralta did indeed have the thumb surgery, and is expected back around the All-Star break.