February 27th, 2011

Cabrera to DH Monday

Miguel Cabrera will make his Spring Training debut as the designated hitter Monday when the Tigers host the Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium, adding the Tigers’ most important offensive player back into the lineup. Manager Jim Leyland made the announcement Sunday morning.

Cabrera missed the Tigers’ first two spring games this weekend, as well as their exhibition against Florida Southern College last Friday. He reported to camp last Thursday after missing the first six days of full-squad workouts following his arrest in South Florida on charges of driving under the influence and resisting an officer without violence.

Cabrera has worked out and taken swings in the batting cage the past couple days. He joined in pregame batting practice Friday and Sunday and looked fine with his swing, and he ran the bases Saturday, but Leyland and the Tigers wanted to allow him time to get his legs into shape for game action. By using him at DH, they can get him at-bats and get his timing going seeing live pitches while allowing him to ease into baseball shape.

“Listen, I protected myself to the hilt on this one,” Leyland said. “I talked to him. I talked to every trainer, I talked to the coaches, and I talked to my boss, so that everybody’s on the same page. So he’s going to DH tomorrow.”

Monday’s game will be broadcast online at MLB Gameday Audio and back in Detroit on 97.1 FM and AM 1270.

Sunday: Tigers vs. Blue Jays

Lakeland Feb 27 004.jpgTigers working on infield drills this morning as part of their extra work. Once they’re done with that and batting practice, they’ll set about for official Spring Training home opener festivities, which include bunting all over the stadium and a ceremonial first pitch from Hall of Famer Al Kaline. Also throwing out a ceremonial first pitch is the great-great granddaughter of Clare Henley, who helped bring the Tigers to Lakeland for Spring Training in 1934.

As for the starting lineup, most of today’s starters are guys who didn’t make the trip to Dunedin yesterday. So it’s like the Blue Jays are facing a whole different squad, save for Ryan Raburn and Ryan Strieby.

TIGERS

  1. Will Rhymes, 2B
  2. Victor Martinez, C
  3. Magglio Ordonez, DH
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Ryan Strieby, 1B
  6. Ryan Raburn, LF
  7. Don Kelly, CF
  8. Audy Ciriaco, 3B
  9. Andy Dirks, RF

P: Max Scherzer, Brad Penny, Joaquin Benoit, Joel Zumaya

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