Peralta's focus remains on field with Cleveland on deck

Peralta's focus remains on field with Cleveland on deck

Peralta's focus remains on field with Cleveland on deck

DETROIT -- Jhonny Peralta kept his focus on the field Sunday afternoon, then kept his answers to baseball questions only after the Tigers finished off his sweep of the White Sox. He was not addressing the looming question of what awaits him off the field, or when he might take the field again.

While multiple reports say Major League Baseball will announce suspensions Monday coming out of its months-long Biogenesis investigation, to which Peralta has been linked, Peralta went about Sunday like he was preparing to hit the road with the team on its upcoming road trip.

He was driving rather than catching the team flight to Cleveland, he said, but that's not a sign in itself. His wife is from Cleveland, and they still own a home there from his years with the Indians.

Where he goes from there is anyone's guess. That includes his teammates, who have been reading and seeing reports.

"I think we're all a little worried," Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. "I think everybody's a little curious, that's for sure. We'll just kind of take it in stride, whatever happens."

As far as the roster goes, the Tigers are prepared. They acquired Jose Iglesias from Boston Tuesday night touting him as the shortstop of the future, but also admitted that the uncertainty surrounding Peralta played a role. Depending on what Major League Baseball decides, and what Peralta decides in turn, Iglesias could be their shortstop of the present. For the weekend, he was their third baseman in a pinch, filling in for the injured Miguel Cabrera.

Peralta could appeal any possible suspension and continue playing while awaiting a hearing with an arbitrator, a process that could linger through the season. A 50-game suspension served immediately, on the other hand, could bring him back with three games to go in the regular season and leave him eligible for the postseason.

Whatever Peralta was weighing off the field, his performance on the field didn't show it. He had a single, a walk and a run scored Sunday to go with an over-the-shoulder catch on an Alexei Ramirez liner to start an inning-ending double play in the 10th to keep the game tied. He went 9-for-25 for the homestand.

"He's definitely been able to block it out and not let it affect him," Avila said. "That's not easy to do. I mean, there's very few players that can do that. I think he's always been that way, at least since he's been with this team."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.