Today is a day that all Tribe fans have long been hoping for, but thought would never come.  Jhonny Peralta is no longer a Cleveland Indian.  Peralta was just traded to the Detroit Tigers.  

Tribe fans are now feeling like a little kid waking up on Christmas, or a teenager on their last day of school.  In Cleveland, the summer wind feels sweeter,  and the water taste better.  Umm scratch the water, this calls for a celebration, so crack open the beer or Champagne.

2010 was the last year on Peralta’s contract with the Indians, and there was no way the team was going to pick up the seven million dollar club option for 2011.

There was very little trade market for Jhonny Peralta this summer.  That is until Brandon Inge of the Tigers was hit by a pitch, and fractured his left hand on June 19th. 

Inge,  Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen are all on the DL, putting Detroit in a desperate situation.  The injuries forced the Tigers to make the trade for Peralta, and send Left-handed starter Giovanni Soto to the Tribe.

The 28 year old Peralta is hitting only .246 with 7 homers, and 43 RBIs this season.
Soto is listed at 6’3″, is 19 years old, and is 6-6 with a 2.61 ERA in 82 2/3 innings for the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps in 2010.  He will report to Class A Lake County for the Indian’s organization.

So why is Jhonny Peralta so disliked by Cleveland fans?  I can not remember a Tribe player that has been so disliked or who has brought so much frustration as Peralta. 

After all, he actually is a very nice person, has never been in any off-field trouble, and has been on the team a long time.  But of course the answer to the question is his poor performance on the field.  

In 2005, his first season as a full time player, Peralta had a breakout year.  But since then, he has greatly underachieved, and has not been able to produce for the team.  

Things looked promising after the 2005 season for Peralta.  He finished that season with a .292 batting average, 35 Doubles, 24 Home Runs and 78 RBI’s.  Very good numbers for an infielder in his first full season.  Sadly, 2005 was the best season of his career.

Since that point, his strike outs have increased and his production has gotten worse or stayed flat.  From 2006 to 2009 he averaged a .264 Batting Average, 33 doubles, 17 Home Runs and 78 RBI’s.  Peralta had a miserable 2009 as he hit .254 with only 11 homers, and  is having a similar run this season.

Throughout his career Peralta has been in the top 10 of batters to hit into double plays. 

Another frustrating point about Peralta is that he has never been a clutch hitter.  A lot of his offense comes with nobody on base, or when it doesn’t count. 

Also he is a notoriously slow starter—he does not start hitting until June or July.  And to say that he is a streaky hitter, would be the understatement of the year.

Peralta’s personality and style of play also makes him an easy target for criticism.  It always looks like he is in slow motion and not hustling.  This may just be an illusion, but it is a constant complaint from most fans. 

Also, he is a very quite guy and does not get worked up or show emotion when he is struggling.  This also irritates hard working Cleveland fans who are so desperate for a winner.  Some of the criticism in these two areas may not be totally justified, but that is all part of being a professional athlete these days.

Any expectations for Peralta to produce have been gone for several years now.  Personally, I do not like to highly criticize Tribe players or to give up on them, but  I think Peralta brought that out of all Indians fans. 

So enjoy this night everyone! 

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