Jhonny Peralta Potentially Out for 2-3 Months

With all due respect to Carter Capps, it looks like we have our first major injury of spring training.

The Cardinals have a good team, and are looking to contend again this year, but they don’t have a lot of organization depth at shortstop, and were counting on Peralta to play everyday. Barring a future move, this injury likely pushes Jedd Gyorko from a utility role into the starting line-up, which isn’t a position the Cardinals wanted to find themselves in. Not only is Gyorko not really a shortstop, losing him off the bench would mean taking away Kolten Wong‘s platoon partner, weakening the team against lefties even more than simply swapping out Peralta for Gyorko would suggest.

While the gap between Peralta and Wong at shortstop over a full season is probably only 2-3 wins, and it sounds like Peralta will only miss about half the season, this seems like the kind of injury that should encourage the Cardinals to make a move for outside help. For one, the Cardinals can’t really afford to just surrender a win, given the fight the NL Wild Card race is shaping up to be, not to mention how good the Cubs are likely to be this year. And this isn’t a team that is built to just say “let’s get them next year”, as veterans like Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina aren’t getting any younger. The Cardinals need to maximize their chances of winning in 2016, and running Gyorko out at shortstop for a few months is at odds with that goal.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, the injury occurred a week after Ian Desmond and Jimmy Rollins signed as free agents, so there’s no easy solution sitting around looking for a job. On the trade market, Erick Aybar would seem to be a potential fit, as the Braves don’t really need a walk-year shortstop during their rebuild, but they don’t have any internal replacements ready, so Atlanta might not be keen on giving up their only decent option. The Mets have infield depth, with Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores both set to serve as reserves this year, but they might not be interested in helping an NL contender stay in the race.

The Cardinals have a long history of finding hidden gems, but unless they know something about Gyorko’s defense that no one else does, this could be a pretty big blow. Talking the Braves out of Aybar seems like the best option available at the moment, at least from my perspective.




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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


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25 Comments on "Jhonny Peralta Potentially Out for 2-3 Months"


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TKDC
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TKDC
2 months 18 days ago

Seems that “could miss 2-3 months,” if that clock is starting right now, means at most 1/3 of a season, not half, and it could be a lot less.

Jimbo
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Jimbo
2 months 18 days ago

I interpreted it to mean 2-3 months of the regular season.

Matthew Murphy
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2 months 17 days ago

The timing does make a difference. 2-3 months from now means he could be back 6 weeks into the season.
Even if we’re looking at half the season, Peralta is projected to be worth 2.3 WAR over a full season, so that’s 1 WAR lost. However, ZIPS actually likes Garcia and Diaz decently, seeing them as worth roughly 1.0 and 0.7 WAR over 300 plate appearances, respectively. Not crazy to give a Garcia (L) / Diaz (R) platoon a shot, although their questionable defense might hurt the Cardinals more than projected given their high ground ball tendencies.

Chad
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Chad
2 months 18 days ago

No Jhons.

Zonk
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Zonk
2 months 18 days ago

What about Greg Garcia and/or Aledmys Diaz as internal options?

Tough break for Cards, and I’m writing that as a Cubs fan; other than Molina, Peralta was probably the guy they could least afford to lose

tsarstruck
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tsarstruck
2 months 18 days ago

I’m not a Cards guy, so i don’t really know either, but this is what Kiley had to say last year about Garcia: “Garcia got a cup of coffee last year and can fill-in at shortstop, but fits better as a utility guy; he has less pop than Kelly.” Doesn’t sound like he’s a great option for three months of manning down shortstop.

Diaz might work, although the defensive reviews at short are not exactly glowing either.

Jeff Luhnow
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Jeff Luhnow
2 months 18 days ago

They really could have used me now.

Tom Cranker
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Tom Cranker
2 months 18 days ago

Simmer down kozma, I got this

Michael
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Michael
2 months 18 days ago

What kind of return do you think they’d have to give up for Aybar?

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas
2 months 17 days ago

Intl slot money? Marco Gonzalez?

Roger21
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Roger21
2 months 18 days ago

I wonder if the Reds have given any thought to trading Zack Cozart. He’s under control only through 2017, so the Reds might not view him as part of their long-term strategy, especially with SS Alex Blandino being one of their better prospects.

I suppose it’s doubtful the Reds would trade Cozart within the division, but it is at least something for them to consider.

dkmin
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dkmin
2 months 18 days ago

Stephen Drew?

Roger21
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Roger21
2 months 18 days ago

Likely depends on how Trea Turner and Danny Espinosa look this spring. If they are both healthy and perform well, then I could see the Nats deciding that Stephen Drew is superfluous.

HappyFunBall
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HappyFunBall
2 months 17 days ago

Same as the Mets argument, the Nats probably don’t have any interest in helping out a fellow contender.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter
2 months 18 days ago

It seems like Tejada would make sense. He doesn’t really fit a crucial need for the Mets – there were reports that he might be non-tendered over the winter – and he seems like the type of player that can have the best two-month streak of his life when he goes to STL.

Dave T
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Dave T
2 months 18 days ago

If we buy the respective projections, the question is whether Tejada is even as good as the Cardinals going with a mix of Gyorko, Greg Garcia, and Aledmys Diaz. And if Diaz looks ready, that gives the Cardinals two RH hitting middle infielders, addressing Dave’s point about sitting Wong against all (or at least most) LH starting pitchers.

Dan
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Dan
2 months 18 days ago

Profar is never gonna come cheaper and could prove to be a steal. Risk with the shoulder not proven healthy and all, but I’d rather gamble on Profar than overpay for an Aybar, etc rental…

output gap
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output gap
2 months 18 days ago

Texas is more likely to trade Andrus than Profar. Doubt the Cards are interest in Andrus contract, though.

Tom Cranker
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Tom Cranker
2 months 17 days ago

Interesting thought. It’d be fun to see a move like that. Gotta imagine it’d be incredibly difficult to come up with in practice, though, right?

From the Cardinals perspective, Profar’s more of a long term option and a questionable short term fix, at best, since we have no idea whether he can regularly play shortstop from the beginning of the season.

From the Rangers perspective, is there sufficient incentive to sell now if he doesn’t bring back something substantial? He’s not expensive, so there’s not a lot of opportunity cost in keeping him. He also was the consensus number 1 prospect in baseball a couple of years ago, so you have to think he still has the opportunity to rebuild substantial value even if he ends up never being as valuable as he was then.

Dave T
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Dave T
2 months 17 days ago

I agree with Tom. He’s also under Rangers team control through 2019 and still only 23. I don’t see why the Rangers would sell low on him right now.

fjtorres
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fjtorres
2 months 18 days ago

Maybe they can talk to Cleveland about Jose Ramirez. He’s young, righty, hit in the minors, and can platoon with Wong after Peralta returns.
And Cleveland has holes all over so finding a fit shouldn’t be too hard.

Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
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Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
2 months 18 days ago

Great fit, and they’d be buying low. One of their glut of OFs (Pham?) might get the job done.

fjtorres
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fjtorres
2 months 17 days ago

Could be. Cleveland doesn’t have much of an outfield except for Brantley and he won’t be ready to start the season. As of now, Ramirez is one of their OF as well as backing up Lindor and Kipniss. Which is to say, he’s an OF for April. :)

tz
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tz
2 months 17 days ago

Yeah, I kind of like this. An old-school need-for-need type of trade. I wonder if it would take Grichuk for the Indians to bite.

Radermecher
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Radermecher
2 months 17 days ago

This forces Cards to address long term ss need.

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