Peralta impresses with defensive range

Peralta impresses with defensive range

Peralta impresses with defensive range
DETROIT -- The Tigers re-signed Jhonny Peralta last offseason with realistic expectations at shortstop: He'll make the plays on the ground balls he gets to. On Tuesday, he got to more balls than many might have expected.

For someone who came into the season with tempered expectations in the field, Peralta had his own highlight reel on a rainy Tuesday night at Comerica Park. His plays included a drive into the hole and an off-balance throw to rob Mitch Moreland of a single in the sixth inning, though replays suggested Moreland might have been safe.

Peralta arguably matched that in the seventh, when he dove to his left to snare a scorched ground ball up the middle from Ian Kinsler and fired to first for the first out. He didn't get the call in the ninth inning, but his play in the hole could've been the game-ending out.

Peralta's .985 fielding percentage ranks second to J.J. Hardy among American League shortstops, though his more specialized stats rank lower. He entered Wednesday with a 4.20 Range Factor, or putouts plus assists per nine outings -- ninth among AL shortstops with enough playing time to qualify. His .879 Zone Rating placed him 10th. In both categories, however, he ranked higher than Indians All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera.