Peralta on the bench again?
Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge starts shortstop Jhonny Peralta on bench again
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Chicago -- Indians manager Eric Wedge, looking for consistency from his weak-hitting lineup, started a three-game series against the American League Central-leading Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night with shortstop Jhonny Peralta on the bench for the second straight game. Peralta leads the Indians with eight homers, but his lapses in concentration have Wedge concerned.
After Peralta made two errors in Saturday's 4-2 loss to Cincinnati, he didn't start Sunday.
"He needs to be better than that," Wedge said before Sunday's game. "It can't happen. He's far enough along in his career where he shouldn't have stretches like that. You're going to have bad days. But you can't lose focus defensively or give away at-bats. You just can't do that."
Peralta is hitting .225 (32-for-142) with five doubles, eight homers and 15 RBI. He's struck out 34 times and walked 11.
"I gave Jhonny the day off Sunday," said Wedge. "We had the off-day Monday, and I gave him another day today. So we'll give him a nice little break.
"He was out here early taking batting practice. I had a chance to talk to him, too. Hopefully, it will help get him back on track."
Wedge is looking for a driving force to get the offense started.
"I want him to be more consistent," said Wedge. "I want all our guys to be more consistent, but Jhonny is an important spot on this ball club, when you talk about him playing shortstop. When you talk about playing in the middle of the diamond, you have more responsibility than others.
"Jhonny has such great potential to be a very good hitter and a very good player. We've seen signs of it. I just want him to be more consistent."
Peralta hit .237 (22-for-93) with five homers and 10 RBI in April. He's hitting .204 (10-for-49) with three homers and five RBI in May.