(Busch Stadium) The thumb ligament of St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta is getting stronger and a return to the playing field could be just days away.

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“He’ll get tested quite a bit here,” said Mozeliak before Tuesday’s game. “Unfortunately, the weather’s not cooperating today but hopefully tomorrow he can get back out on that field and depending on how things go, maybe as early as next week or sometime this weekend, can think about a rehab.”

Where he plays defensively on that rehab–or more importantly when returns to the active roster, remains to be seen.

“I’m very comfortable with him doing other things, but as far as going out on a rehab, playing short is fine,” said Mozeliak.

The large majority of his career has been spent playing shortstop (1452 games) but Peralta has also played third (213 games) and appeared at first and left field (3 games each).

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals“I think he gives us flexibility,” said Mozeliak. “We can’t rule out moving Diaz, we can’t rule out moving Carpenter, and we can’t rule out moving Peralta. I know that’s sort of a vague answer but these are different pieces to the Rubik’s cube that we’ve gotta solve and determine what makes the most sense. The good news for us, we’re very confident with what Peralta can do defensively and I think he can do that at really any position.”

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Carpenter was an All-Star second baseman in 2013 and Diaz saw some time there in the Arizona Fall League.

But Mozeliak added that he had not spoken with Carpenter about a potential move from third base and also was encouraged by what he had recently seen from Kolten Wong.

“I thought he had a nice road trip,” he said of the second baseman. “I definitely thought that was a positive step forward and that’s good to see.”

Entering the night, St. Louis had committed 34 errors–most in MLB. Nine of those have been charged to Aledmys Diaz, but the rookie is also hitting .376–third best in baseball. So what’s the balance between glove and bat?

“I just feel like that’s not where our heads should be focused,” stated Mozeliak. “I think two of those errors on Friday night could’ve easily been hits, but I’m not the scorekeeper. Had they been hits, maybe you’re not asking that question so I think from just a pure observation standpoint, what he’s doing at the plate certainly overrides what he’s doing in the field.”

Which translates to the domino effect when Peralta returns–a potential shuffling of gloves in the field to keep bats in the lineup.

photo credit: Jasen Vinlove, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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