Fielder back in Derby, but what about Cabrera?
Prince Fielder will defend his crown in next Monday’s Home Run Derby. Whether Miguel Cabrera joins him remains to be seen.
Cabrera essentially confirmed Monday night that the open spot on the American League’s Derby roster is waiting on him and his back.
“He asked me already, so we’re waiting to see how my back’s feeling,” Cabrera said. “Hopefully I can do it.”
This is the same back issue that led manager Jim Leyland to rest Cabrera on Thursday. When Cabrera returned to action on Friday, Leyland said he wasn’t at 100 percent. Cabrera said AL captain Robinson Cano asked him a week ago, so his back issue dates back at least that long.
“I hope he can wait or he can have somebody else be ready,” Cabrera said. “He talked to me one week ago for that. I tell him, ‘Maybe I’ll do it, but you’ve got to put Prince on there. You’ve gotta put Prince first, then me.’ He won last year, so he deserves to be there again.”
Prince’s status was never in question. He loves the Derby, and his two crowns makes him an easy choice.
“I want to have fun, but obviously you want to win,” Fielder said. “We’re all competitors. I just want to win to have my boys stand up there with me. That’s the only reason I like winning, so that they can experience it. It’s really fun for them, and I have fun seeing how much fun it is for them.”
If Cabrera takes part, he and Fielder will be the second pair of teammates in this year’s Derby, joining Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. The 2011 Derby had two pairs of teammates as well with Fielder joining fellow Brewer Rickie Weeks against Red Sox David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez.