Jhonny Peralta is back on the diamond after serving his 50-game suspension, but he isn’t returning to the Detroit Tigers lineup yet — if at all.
The team hasn’t reached a decision on whether or not to activate the infielder when he becomes eligible to return on Sept. 27 for the Tigers’ final three regular-season games. Peralta is back working out with the team, however, and on Wednesday afternoon he spoke to the media publicly for the first time since being suspended due to his connection with the Biogenesis clinic.
“What happened before, I’m angry with myself,” Peralta said. “I don’t know how to explain it, the situation that happened, but I’m kind of mad at myself.”
Tigers president Dave Dombrowski has made it clear that Peralta will not be the starting shortstop if he returns to the team for the end of the season and the playoffs, but Peralta remains content with being a part of the team any way he can and contributing in any way that is needed.
“I understand the situation,” he said. “[Jose] Iglesias is a really good player. He’s settled to be the shortstop every day. I’m here to help the team in whatever position I can be at. It’s good to be here and I’ll try to enjoy the game whatever decision Dave makes. I’ll be here.”
Peralta was also prompted about any regrets he might have regarding the situation — going back as far as the original statement he made, in which he vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think I say what I said before,” he said, referring to his statement after he was suspended. “I apologize to everybody. I think everybody understands. We make mistakes sometimes. We’re human. It’s happened to a lot of people.”