Leyland “pretty confident” Cabrera back at third
The Tigers won without Miguel Cabrera in the starting lineup Sunday. If the day off works as planned, they shouldn’t have to do that again for a while.
“I’m pretty confident that Miguel will play third base in the Kansas City series,” manager Jim Leyland said after the game. “I’m pretty confident. Now, would I etch that in stone? No, I can’t, but I’m pretty confident he’ll play third base. I think this did wonders for him.
“It has nothing to do with the fact that we won the game. Nobody’s going to say anything about this now because we won the game.”
Actually, it was still a pretty big deal, but it won’t attract quite so much second-guessing on Monday as it would have if the Tigers had lost.
The thought from the Tigers was that pairing an day off Sunday with the Tigers’ off-day Monday should give him a better chance to start on Tuesday — not at DH, but at third base, allowing the Tigers to get their lineup back in order instead of starting a utility player at third. If Leyland didn’t feel confident about it, he wouldn’t have put Cabrera on the bench on Sunday.
“I didn’t even sleep last night,” Leyland said. “I talked to a lot of people. I made a couple calls last night. I talked to my coaches all day. But you know, at the end of the day, when I talked to Cabrera, I knew the best thing to do was to rest him today, no matter what the outcome of this game was. That’s what managing is. …
“At the end of the day, what’s best for Miguel Cabrera is best for the Tigers. And it was best for Miguel Cabrera to sit today. I believe that with all my heart. I don’t even have any question about it.”