UPDATE: Peralta was designated for assignment on Friday.
ORIGINAL: The Cardinals could move on from third baseman Jhonny Peralta as the team looks to turn their season around by shuffling the deck of their roster, per MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch.
General manager John Mozeliak spoke with the media yesterday and expressed the tough choices surrounding Peralta, given the 35-year-old’s struggles and current third baseman Jedd Gyorko’s success.
According to Langosch, St. Louis will likely decide on Peralta’s fate at the end of this week when Kolten Wong comes off the disabled list. Mozeliak will likely have to choose between keeping Peralta or Paul DeJong on the major-league roster, potentially opening the door for Peralta to be traded or designated for assignment.
Peralta looked to be the obvious candidate to start at third base for the Cardinals in 2017, and was the team’s cleanup hitter on Opening Day. Two months later, Peralta appears to be the odd man out as he sits with a .189 batting average and the only player in the league to have at least 50 plate appearances without an extra base hit.
Meanwhile, Gyorko has been stellar at the plate, batting .319 with eight home runs as he stakes his claim for the everyday starting third baseman. Gyorko was away on paternity leave this past weekend, but Peralta managed just one single in his absence.
Peralta ran into some tough luck to start the season, falling on the 10-day DL as a result of an upper respiratory infection, and a bad reaction to medication he was taking for the infection only prolonged his absence. He has been unable to rediscover his spring training swing since returning from the DL.
Peralta has stated that he has no interest in taking reps at first base to increase his versatility. A former shortstop, Peralta insists he is better off on the left side of the infield, but that may not be the case for him anymore, at least not in a Cardinals uniform.
Currently in the final year of a four-year, $53 million dollar contract, Peralta has some say in where he winds up due to a limited no trade clause. He reportedly provided the Cardinals with a list of 10 ten teams that he would accept a trade to, if those teams are looking to add a veteran infielder. Two AL East contenders -- the Red Sox and Yankees — are among the clubs with a need at third base.