March 9th, 2011

Leyland: Cabrera getting into baseball shape

The off-field stuff with Miguel Cabrera is obviously in the headlines, from the just-released investigative report to the news that he and the Tigers have agreed on a companion during the season to help him through his program. Meanwhile, on the field, Cabrera singled — an opposite-field line drive — and scored in Wednesday’s loss to the Phillies, but stands at 4-for-23 so far this spring. He has had some solidly-hit drives to right field that have been caught.
Before Wednesday’s game, manager Jim Leyland said Cabrera is still getting into baseball shape, and it’s going to take some time for him to get there.
“I think what I’ve seen in his at-bats is what I normally see,” Leyland said, “except he’s not ready. He’s still in the process of getting himself in baseball shape.”
When Leyland was asked when he’ll know Cabrera has gotten to that point, Leyland said, “I would say probably real late in the spring, he’ll be right on queue.”
Cabrera has gotten a pretty steady diet of at-bats since beginning game action last week. He is not on the travel roster for Thursday night’s game against the Marlins in Jupiter, but he is scheduled to make the trip there for a Friday afternoon game against the Cardinals.

No firm decision yet on Guillen return

One of the questions that came up in manager Jim Leyland’s session this morning was whether he hoped to have Carlos Guillen in games next week. Next Tuesday will mark the two-week mark for what’s left of Spring Training.

Leyland was noncommittal at this point.
“Can’t answer that just yet,” Leyland said. “I mean, there will be a point that you reach where you say, ‘Well, he can be ready or he won’t be ready.’ But I’m not sure exactly what that is. We’ll come up with some time frame.”
Leyland said they have a plan ready to get him as many at-bats as possible if and when he’s ready. Since he likely won’t be able to play the field for several days in a row starting out, they’ll have days set up when he can serve as the designated hitter in minor-league spring games.
Guillen was markedly upbeat this morning, so if he’s lagging in his comeback, he isn’t showing it. He ran the bases successfully Tuesday and will likely do that a couple more times this week.

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Phillies

The Tigers have a two-day trip to Jupiter coming up, so some guys who will be hitting the bus tomorrow might be getting some rest today.

TIGERS
  1. Andy Dirks, LF
  2. Will Rhymes, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, DH
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, C
  6. Brennan Boesch, RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Don Kelly, CF
  9. Danny Worth, 3B
P: Rick Porcello
PHILLIES
  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Placido Polanco, 3B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Raul Ibanez, LF
  6. Delwyn Young, RF
  7. Ross Gload, DH
  8. Brian Schneider, C
  9. Wilson Valdez, 2B
P: Joe Blanton
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