Cabrera won’t play tonight
In all the hubbub over Max Scherzer’s 13-0 start and Colby Rasmus’ slide on Omar Infante, this kind of got overlooked. Now that everyone has calmed down, I’m giving you a heads-up now: Miguel Cabrera won’t start tonight.
Jim Leyland made the announcement after the game Wednesday night, after he subbed him out in the ninth inning for the second consecutive game with tightness in his back.
“I think it probably tightened up on him,” Leyland said. “Like I said, I don’t know how it happens like it does, but it does seem to happen. We’ve been on turf now for six straight days. Guys aren’t used to that. I think there’s probably something to that. You’re on the dirt, and then on the turf, and you’re running the bases on the dirt and then you hit the turf. I don’t really have an answer for it other than the back’s bothering him and I’m not going to play him tomorrow.”
Cabrera didn’t say a whole lot after the game. He suggested his back felt OK, but that’s not really a surprise from him.
Cabrera has missed one game in each of the last two seasons. He last sat out a game last Aug. 26 against the Angels, a game the Tigers actually won, 5-2, when Max Scherzer outpitched Ervin Santana. Jeff Baker started at third that day.
The Tigers won the one game Cabrera missed in 2011, too. That day, he was on paternity leave to be with his wife for the birth of their child, and the Tigers called up Omir Santos to give Alex Avila a much-needed day off. Doug Fister pitched well and the Tigers won a getaway game at Tampa Bay.
Cabrera was also out of the starting lineup in two other games in 2011, but ended up making a pinch-hit appearance.
Don Kelly will start at third base tonight. The only other guy on the Tigers bench who can play third is Ramon Santiago, and he’ll be starting for the injured Infante.