With second baseman Kolten Wong set to return from a minor league rehab assignment following a stint on the Disabled List, the St. Louis Cardinals made a big-name corresponding move, designated third baseman Jhonny Peralta for assignment. As Peralta can refuse a minor league assignment, this will effectively end his Cardinals career.
Peralta, who signed as a free agent shortstop before the 2014 season coming from the Detroit Tigers, was a resounding success in his first season in St. Louis, leading the NLCS team’s position players in Wins Above Replacement. However, following a strong first half of 2015, Peralta’s career began to precipitously decline. Although Peralta continued to play shortstop for the 2015 team, the emergence of Aledmys Diaz following a 2016 Spring Training injury to the veteran forced Peralta to move to third base.
Although Peralta entered 2017 as a co-favorite to win the starting third base job, the emergence of Jedd Gyorko as the team’s best hitter in the first two months of the season meant that Peralta, who struggled mightily at the plate with a .204/.259/.204 triple-slash line and poor defense, was without a job.
Peralta had not started a game for the Cardinals since June 3, and the club’s increased reliance on Paul DeJong further meant that Peralta did not have much of a role with the team. Though, as a huge fan of his contributions to the 2014 club, I am happy to remind everybody that Peralta’s final plate appearance with the Cardinals was, indeed, a hit.
The Cardinals also announced some coaching staff changes you can read about here.