DETROIT -- After averaging about 10 appearances out of the bullpen each month this season, left-hander Drew Smyly has only been called upon three times in September for a total of two innings.
Manager Jim Leyland said he's made an effort to give Smyly some rest. It is the left-hander's first full year as a reliever.
"We wanted to save him down the stretch for some real big situations, and we really haven't had those come up in a lot of cases," Leyland said. "Now recently, the last few days, we have and we've used him, obviously. He'd never pitched that much out of the bullpen, so we thought we should back off him a little bit."
Smyly is fifth among American League relievers with 71 innings pitched this year. With two outs in the seventh inning on Saturday, Leyland chose to bring in left-hander Jose Alvarez instead of Smyly.
"[Smyly] pitched a couple days in a row, and we were behind in the game," Leyland said. "I didn't really want to put him into the game because it would have been three [games] in a row -- then if we needed him [on Sunday], we wouldn't have had him."
Peralta getting in work in left field
DETROIT -- Shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who is nearing the end of his 50-game suspension, has been fielding balls in left field during early work prior to a few games this week.
The Tigers haven't announced whether Peralta will return to the team once his suspension ends, but he will likely report to the instructional league at the Tigers' Spring Training facility in Lakeland, Fla., at some point in the near future. Workouts there begin on Sept. 19, with games beginning Sept. 23.
For now, Peralta is allowed to work out with the Tigers until the gates open, and then he can watch the game from the clubhouse.
"He hits and works out with [outfield coach Tom Brookens]," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's doing OK. You can't really simulate game stuff."
With no Minor League affiliates playing, the Tigers might have Peralta play the position during an early batting practice so that he can learn to read the flight of the ball off the bat.
"We know he can catch a fly ball," Leyland said. "But getting it off the bat with the ball sinking, sailing or carrying over your head or something, you never know how that's going to work."
Peralta's suspension will end just before the final regular-season series, which is in Miami from Sept. 27-29.
Iglesias gets Sunday off to rest aching legs
DETROIT -- Shortstop Jose Iglesias wasn't in the lineup against the Royals on Sunday, as he got a day off to rest shin splints in both legs.
Iglesias was forced out of a game early and missed two games last week due to the ailment. Ramon Santiago filled in for Iglesias at shortstop.
"[Our trainers] say there's things when they just ache and stuff. It was probably something that is not really going to get better until the wintertime," manager Jim Leyland said. "I played an extra left-handed hitter today to give him a little blow on his legs."
Although Iglesias may be dealing with some soreness in his legs, it hasn't affected his range in the field or on the basepaths, as he beat out a bunt single in the sixth inning on Saturday.
"I don't really understand when a guy has shin splints, I'm talking about from a medical standpoint, how a guy can run that fast," Leyland said. "But [the trainers] say he can."
Tigers' offense struggling to score recently
DETROIT -- The Tigers have been held to three runs or fewer in eight of their 12 games this month. In four of those eight games, Detroit has outhit its opponent. While it's an oddity, it raises some concern, as the Tigers make their push for the postseason.
"Some of that, overall, is our lack of speed," manager Jim Leyland said. "There was the game in Pittsburgh, when we got four hits in one inning and didn't score a run. So some of it depends who is on the bases and stuff like that, that's some of it. Some of it is the pitching like [Royals starter Ervin] Santana was [on Saturday] night."
The Tigers have been shut out 10 times this season, after being blanked only two times last year. Entering Sunday's game against the Royals, the Tigers have hit five home runs in September, which ranks last in the Majors. Alex Avila added to that total with a homer in the second inning of Sunday's game.
"That's why I said all along we normally score when we hit doubles and hit it over the fence," Leyland said.
Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.