Seattle Mariners catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta have both been named in new reports, linking the pair to the Miami-based Biogenesis Clinic. Montero’s name first came up this morning in a report by the New York Daily News. Peralta’s inclusion was uncovered later in the day by SI.com’s Tom Verducci. There does not appear to be any specific connection between the pair to a specific performance enhancing drug, but the implication that there could be a relationship of some kind is often enough to damage a player’s reputation.
Ten players had been named prior to today’s additions – Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Gio Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Yasmani Grandal, Cesar Carillo, Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli, and Danny Valencia. Montero and Peralta bring the total to twelve.
Montero appeared in 135 games for the Mariners this past season, his first with the team after being acquired from the New York Yankees just over a year ago. The now-23 year old hit .260/.298/.386 with 15 HR and 62 RBI on the year in 553 PA. It was a solid though unspectacular rookie season for Montero, who came with some high expectations as he climbed through the Yankees minor league system. For four consecutive years he ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects, including three straight seasons in their Top 10. Montero is a career .308/.366/.501 hitter in just over 2,000 PA.
Representatives for Montero, Sam and Seth Levinson (who also represent Peralta), released a statement stating that they were unfamiliar with the Biogenesis Clinic or Anthony Bosch prior to the start of these reports coming to public light. The Mariners expressed support for MLB’s investigation but refrained from any further comment.
Peralta had a down season in 2012, hitting just .239/.305/.384 with 13 HR over 585 PA. He faced numerous questions early on this offseason, as there was some uncertainty that the Tigers would exercise an option they held on him for the 2013 season. The team repeatedly was linked to other available shortstops but no deals ever appeared close. Peralta, a .264/.327/.422 hitter in his 10 year career, has reportedly lost a fair amount of weight (18 pounds) heading into Spring Training – typically the opposite affect someone would have from taking a steroid-like substance.
Neither Montero nor Peralta’s names were specifically mentioned next to any drug-related information in Bosch’s journals from the Biogensis Clinic, so the nature of their relationship – if there was one – remains uncertain.