Cardinals Could Start Slow With Johnny Peralta Out For 2-3 Months
The 2016 MLB season is just one month away and the St. Louis Cardinals all ready have a big obstacle in between them and baseball’s top record.
Per reports, star shortstop Johnny Peralta has suffered a torn ligament in his thumb and could miss around 2-3 months.
Mozeliak: Peralta will have thumb examined in STL. Initial read, could be tear, could be “2-3 months.” #STLCards
— Chris Hrabe (@chrabe) March 7, 2016
The initial report suggests the tear and rough time table, but a closer look could reveal Peralta’s situation to be better or worse.
For now, the Cardinals need to find a replacement to help keep their defense from seeing a dip. St. Louis rode a stingy defense to 100 wins a year ago, which helped give them pro baseball’s best record and the top overall seed in the NL Playoffs.
St. Louis wasn’t able to take advantage of their MLB-best record, but Peralta was a key part of their defensive success, and also provided timely offense at the plate.
More than just timely, Peralta was consistent, as he converted on a solid .275 of his at bats and had an on base percentage of .334. Adding a solid 17 homers in 155 games, Peralta both continued to add some pop to his offensive ability, and also displayed remarkable health, while bringing in 71 runners (71 RBI).
Peralta is a pretty big loss on both sides of the coin for the Cardinals, as they’ll have to scurry to find a quality defensive stopper on the infield that can also hold his own at the plate. Early candidates figure to be Jedd Gyrorko (started at SS 28 times last season with the Padres), while Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been mentioned as a possibility.
Peralta is out long enough to put a dent in a potential hot start, but the early 2-3 month time table isn’t devastating enough to kill the Cardinals’ playoff hopes or even force the team to make a big trade.
Of course, without a solid piece of the puzzle, the Cardinals could be a weaker bet in the early going of the 2016 MLB season.
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