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Cleveland Indians

Peralta gets mental health day

By Sheldon Published: May 8, 2009

  CLEVELAND: Jhonny Peralta watched Friday night's game from the bench, and he might do the same tonight. ¶
   The Indians' shortstop has been in a prolonged slump that has largely gone unnoticed in the wake of the team's bullpen crisis. Unnoticed by many but not by manager Eric Wedge. ¶
   ""I'm thinking about giving Jhonny a couple of days (off), just to let him catch his breath,'' Wedge said. ""It's something we've done before, and it's helped him.'' ¶
   However, Wedge wasn't absolutely committed to keeping Peralta off the field tonight. ¶
   ""I don't know for sure,'' he said. ""But Jhonny's really fighhting it now, offensively and a little big on defense.'' ¶
   To that end, Peralta was used as the designated hitter Thursday night against the Red Sox at Fenway Park and had an infield single in four trips to the plate, three off knuckleball specialist Tim Wakefield, so can throw a batter's swing out of whack for days. ¶
   For the season, Peralta is batting .210 with with only one home run, 10 RBI and 33 strikeouts in 105 at-bats. Lately, he hasn't done even that well, in his past 15 games batting .127 with 22 strikeouts. ¶
   It is not unusual for Peralta to get off to slow starts. Going into this season, he had a batting average of .230 in April, including a .237 average the first month of last year. In fact, April has been his least productive month, looking back at his entire career. ¶
  ""Jhonny kind of got in a bad groove,'' Wedge said. ""He finds himself repeating bad habits, and it's tougher to get out of them than it is to get into them.'' ¶
   Peralta's even tempered nature makes it difficult for people to know what he's thinking and whether a significant slump is having an effect on his mental outlook. ¶
   ""He's a tougher read than most guys,'' Wedge said. ""But he's been here long enough that I have a good feel for him.'' ¶
   Asdrubal Cabrera, moving over from second, took Peralta's place at shortstop, and rookie Luis Valbuena filled in at second Friday night. ¶
   HAFNER UPDATE -- Travis Hafner's sore shoulder feels well enough for him to take batting practice, which he did indoors Friday, since the Indians did not take their regular pregame BP. ¶
   ""I think this short period of time (on the DL) helped him,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""Hopefully, this is all he needs.'' ¶
   On Monday, Hafner visited Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery on the shoulder last October. Andrews told him there was nothing unusual about the post-operative soreness and that an MRI showed no new injury or a problem with the original injury. ¶
  ""We'd like to get him out on a rehab assignment as soon as we can,'' Wedge said. ¶
   ON THE WAY BACK? -- Utility infielder Jamey Carroll (fractured hand) began a rehab assignment at Columbus Friday night, but Wedge doesn't expect him to there for long. ¶
   ""We'll re-evaluate next week,'' the manager said. ¶
   THE PLAN -- Rafael Perez won't have to depend on the luck of the draw to get work at Triple-A. ¶
   ""We'll have him on some kind of schedule, maybe every other day, dcepending on how many pitches he throws,'' Wedge said. ""We want him to go out and pitch and not worry about the results.'' ¶
   As for the overall poor performance of the bullpen, Wedge said, ""We'll try to be as creative as we can. We will look outside and inside the organization for help. We need to get Perez and (Joe) Smith (on the DL) back here. But we might not be as far away as everybody thinks.''  
   APPEAL LOST -- The Indians were unable to overturn an official scorer's decision that would have given Asdrubal Cabrera three RBI in a 9-7 loss to the Tigers last Saturday. ¶
   Instead of a bases loaded double, the original ruling, the scorer changed the play to an error the next day, and that ruling will stand. ¶
   A tape of the play was reviewed by an official at Major League Baseball, and he did not deem it worthy of sending to the three-man committee that rules on appealed scoring plays. ¶
   FARM FACTS -- Matt McBride had two doubles and two singles plus three RBI, as Kinston blanked Salem 7-0 in the first game of a doubleheader. Lonnie Chisenhall had two doubles nd a single, driving in three runs, and Eric Berger yielded two hits in six innings. In the second game, McBride homered and had three RBI in Kinston's 4-3 win. *elip Abner Abreu tripled, singled twice and drove in four runs, as Lake County routed Hickory 14-6. ¶

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