ST. PETERSBURG -- Jhonny Peralta was asked how he feels about playing third base. "What do you think?" That was about as much frustration as Peralta would voice over manager Eric Wedge's lineup tinkering for Thursday's series opener against the Rays. Peralta had been given notice that he might start seeing some time at third, and he was braced for the possibility when the Indians asked him to play third in the Dominican Winter League during the offseason.
Still, Peralta, who has improved his season average to .246 with a .623 OPS with a hot week at the plate, views himself as this club's shortstop, and that's the position at which he wants to stay. "It's not frustrating," Peralta said, "but I'd like to be at one position, instead of moving all the time." Wedge is not sure how much time Peralta will see at third, but it's safe to say Thursday's move won't stand as an isolated incident. The Tribe's lineup is very much in flux. On Thursday, with sinkerballer Fausto Carmona on the mound, Wedge wanted the Indians to be more athletic up the middle with Asdrubal Cabrera at short and Luis Valbuena at second. "This is something I think we'll see more of," Wedge said. "We're trying to get better defensively." Wedge figures to take advantage of Mark DeRosa's versatility more often. DeRosa made his first start at first base Thursday after 32 starts at third base and one in right field. As for Peralta, Wedge said it's obvious his career will see him eventually make a permanent move to the corner infield at some point in time. Perhaps that time is on the horizon.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.