Dodgers Team News

Former Dodger David Peralta Joins Padres, Blames 2023 Surgery for Slow Start

The San Diego Padres signed former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder David Peralta to a minor-league contract Saturday and called him up for his season debut on Wednesday.

Peralta drove in a run and struck out in an 0-for-2 performance against the Cincinnati Reds in his first major league action of the 2024 season. He also hit into a forceout with a contact play on, leading directly to a Padre run.

What took Peralta so long to get back to the majors? According to the former Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner, his slow start is because of the off-season flexor tendon surgery on his left elbow. Peralta underwent the procedure last October, immediately after his only season with the Dodgers.

“I knew when I had the surgery in the offseason (that) this year was going to be really tough,” Peralta told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “And it’s been really tough for me trying to find my comeback to the big leagues. I’ve been grinding and doing my best and prove to everyone that I’m healthy. I really appreciate and am really grateful that San Diego and took that and they said, ‘Hey David, we need your help.’ And I’m here to help the team win.”

Peralta joined the Padres after spending last season with the Dodgers, where he hit .259/.294/.381 with seven homers and 55 RBIs in 133 games. However, he began the season with the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa, where he was hitting .217/.341/.348 with two homers in 20 games before opting out of his contract on May 13.

The Venezuela native began his career with the Arizona Diamondbacks, spending 8.5 seasons there before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2022 deadline. Entering Wednesday’s game, Peralta owns a career slash line of .289/.343/.474 against righties and is .241/.303/.361 against lefties. San Diego, which has struggled to hit left-handed pitching this season, is likely to use Peralta in a platoon role.

Losing Peralta wasn’t a huge blow to the Dodgers, but what he said about joining the rival squad from San Diego is a bit of a diss.

“I’m glad I’m on this side,” he said. “I’m expecting to do the same thing. … I’ve been facing this team for a long time. They have a lot of talent here. It feels like I’ve been competing with this team for a long time, but it’s my first day. I know they’re inches away and they want to win.”

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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