CHICAGO (AP) — The Detroit Tigers are giving Jhonny Peralta a chance to earn a spot on their roster.
That's about all general manager Dave Dombrowski would promise when he discussed the suspended infielder's future Tuesday. Peralta, who accepted a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Aug. 5, will work out with the Tigers before Wednesday's game in Chicago against the White Sox.
"From our perspective, there really is an obligation with giving him a chance to come back," Dombrowski said. "We'll make a baseball decision at some point, as we get closer, whether to activate him."
Peralta was suspended as part of baseball's investigation into Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Dombrowski said even if Peralta returns, he would not be the team's everyday shortstop. Shortly before his suspension, the Tigers traded for a replacement, acquiring slick-fielding infielder Jose Iglesias from Boston.
Dombrowski said Peralta will do some hitting Wednesday and also take groundballs and flyballs.
The 31-year-old Peralta has never played the outfield in the major leagues. He's only played shortstop, third base and first base, and the latter two positions are occupied on the Tigers by sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
AL Central-leading Detroit is trying to hold off Cleveland for its third straight division title after winning the American League pennant in 2012. Peralta was having a fine season before he was suspended, hitting .305 with 11 home runs.
Peralta, a free agent after this season, is eligible to return on Sept. 27 for the Tigers' final three regular-season games at Miami. Dombrowski said at some point between now and then, Peralta will join Detroit's instructional league team.
"He's been in the Dominican Republic, so he's been working out," Dombrowski said. "We've got enough time for him to take batting practice to get ready, so there really was nothing to be gained by bringing him in earlier than this. Now, at this time, to properly get him ready for the season — if we do decide to activate him — this is about the right time."
Last year, All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera served a 50-game suspension that ended in October. The San Francisco Giants kept him off the roster on their way to winning the World Series.
The Tigers aren't the only team facing a similar dilemma this time around, trying to figure out how effective a key player can be after a long suspension. Texas slugger Nelson Cruz was back with the Rangers toward the end of last month, hoping to come back for the postseason after his suspension ends.
Dombrowski said giving Peralta another look is the right thing to do.
"Really you are under some obligation to attempt to try to give him the opportunity to try to come back, because it's a negotiated settlement of a 50-day suspension that the commissioner's office and the players' association have agreed upon," Dombrowski said. "Are you told that you have to? No. But you also are told that there is some obligation. I think really where we fall at this time, too: You pay the punishment, you pay the price — which he has — and you sit back and we can see how he is."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Lawmakers in Connecticut and New York are calling on the Federal Railroad Administration to take immediate action to try and prevent another deadly train crash like the one that happened last weekend in New York City.
Members of the Machinists union who work at jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney have approved a new three-year contract.
Manchester police are investigating what lead one man to allegedly kill three women and then take his own life.
The University of Connecticut has awarded the first two scholarships under a program launched to help those affected by last year's massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
A student accused of setting off a lockdown and massive police response at Central Connecticut State University by wearing a ninja-like costume on campus is set to face a judge for the first time.
Newtown police officers rescued two people from a house fire, early Sunday.
Enfield resident Harold Slater was just 20-years-old the day he witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Two men were arrested after breaking into a home then driving at officers during a pursuit in Waterbury on Saturday night.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's governor is calling for houses of worship to mark the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting by ringing their bells 26 times — once for each of the victims killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary …
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The two youngest members of the U.S. Senate are co-sponsoring a bill aimed at lowering college costs that includes withholding federal funds from schools that don't meet affordability and quality standards.