DETROIT — In his first game with the Detroit Tigers, Jose Iglesias started in place of Miguel Cabrera, not Jhonny Peralta.
Iglesias started at third base tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Cabrera was scratched from the lineup after also missing Wednesday's game against Washington with a strained lower abdomen.
Cabrera was taken out of the lineup today because of some discomfort after running.
Iglesias could soon take over at shortstop for Peralta, who faces a possible suspension amid the fallout from baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. Peralta was in the lineup at shortstop today.
"I'm a natural shortstop, but as soon as I'm in the lineup, it doesn't matter where," Iglesias said. "I just want to help this team win, no matter what position. I'm a Detroit Tiger. I'm really happy to be here."
The Tigers acquired Iglesias from Boston in a three-team trade this week — at least in part to protect themselves against a possible suspension to Peralta.
The 23-year-old Iglesias was initially going to play second base, but when Cabrera was pulled before the game, he moved over to third.
He hit .330 in 63 games with the Red Sox, but his real value may be in the field. He gives the Tigers a young, inexpensive option who can play several infield positions.
"I think today was one of the first days since I've been here, or in my career — that when I saw him, I did feel a little old," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
Iglesias arrived in an awkward situation, since there's been no official word about whether Peralta will in fact be suspended.
Leyland wouldn't talk about Peralta's future, but he did balk at the idea that the Biogenesis investigation is detracting from an exciting baseball season.
"I don't think there's any negative headlines hanging over baseball myself," Leyland said. "I can only speak for Detroit, Michigan. Tonight, we're going to have fireworks, 40,000 and hopefully have a good game. That's the way I look at it."
Leyland said Iglesias could have his No. 10 if he wanted it, but Iglesias took the field wearing No. 1 — the same number as former Tigers star Lou Whitaker.
"I like No. 1," Iglesias said. "I heard about the history. It's a special number, and I'm glad to have it."
The Tigers optioned infielder Hernan Perez to Double-A Erie to make room for Iglesias.