(Busch Stadium) After getting more work in pregame drills the last few days, St. Louis Cardinals infielder Jhonny Peralta is headed to Florida where he will begin a rehab assignment with Palm Beach (A).
“We’re just going to get him some work,” said Mike Matheny. “Get him work at third, probably even get him a little work at shortstop and just let him hopefully get that game speed movement and actions. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out.”
Getting some work at first base has not been ruled out, but Matheny shared it had not yet been part of the conversation with Palm Beach manager Dann Bilardello.
An added benefit of playing in Palm Beach is that Peralta will also have the option of getting extra at-bats in extended Spring Training, which is held on the backfields at Roger Dean Stadium.
“He’s definitely going to be in the Florida State League games, but I think there’s the option of doing both–just hopping the fence and going over and getting some work,” said Matheny. “Not in the same day, but it’s going to be in conversation of what kind of what’s more important. I think you’re always going to have the option too to go and get live at-bats. Even some of the guys who aren’t pitching in the extended games could throw a live simulated where Jhonny’s getting work there.”
How long the rehab assignment lasts remains to be seen as the Cardinals have not set an exact timetable for Peralta’s return.
“His body’s going to tell us,” said Matheny. “Training staff and we’re going to be down in Florida, so we’ll have the opportunity if we need to get our medical teams hands on him. The guys down there do a great job of saying ‘hey, listen, he’s responding well’ or is a little slow in progression. And then how he’s recovering is going to be the big issue.”
Peralta has been on the disabled list since April 17th due to a respiratory issue.
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI