And so it begins.
Suspended since early August in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal, Jhonny Peralta's comeback has officially begun.
Assigned to the annual Fall Instructional League while he finishes his 50-game suspension, Peralta reported to TigerTown early Wednesday morning.
An infielder his entire 13-year career, the 31-year-old’s journey back to Detroit now apparently begins in left field where the Tigers intend on utilizing him.
So, how has he looked?
In a nutshell: Work in Progress.
Working exclusively with the outfielders, Peralta fielded ground balls and participated in numerous drills to acquaint himself with the position on Wednesday. He fielded batted balls off the wall and took instruction on route running and hitting the cutoff man. While most of Wednesday’s experience was at a snails pace to ease him into his possible new role, Peralta seemed positive, upbeat and attentive to instruction.
See Peralta in action below:
Peralta Fielding Practice in Lakeland
Thursday, activity picked up a bit as Peralta shagged fly balls for the first time. A novice to the position, Peralta displayed passable defense with questionable reads and route running. Regardless, Peralta looked semi-comfortable making routine plays, so given his novelty, it’s an encouraging sign.
Peralta finished the afternoon taking batting practice on a backfield that was deemed "closed to media."
Just two days into this new endeavor, it’s a tad premature to properly evaluate this Hail Mary attempt to get Peralta’s bat into the Tigers’ lineup. Peralta will likely see his first game action in the outfield against the Nationals Instructs squad on Monday afternoon.
Where things go from there, we’ll have to wait and see.
James Chipman is the Lakeland Correspondent for TigsTown. Be sure to follow him on twitter @JAYRC_TigsTown.