Ausmus: Sitting Cabrera for a stretch is an option
For now, Miguel Cabrera is day-to-day for the Tigers with his balky right ankle, which was bothering him well before he tried to beat out an infield single in the fourth inning Saturday night. It’s not yet clear if Cabrera will sit Sunday, because Cabrera didn’t want to be ruled out before seeing he how feels in the morning.
“As much as we use [the phrase] day-to-day, he literally is day-to-day,” Brad Ausmus said. “Some days he comes in and feels really good. Some days he comes in and it’s a little sore.”
And yet, the situation is serious enough that Ausmus said he has talked with Cabrera about sitting — not just for a day, but for a stretch of games.
“I’ve talked to him about that,” he said. “We talked about that in Detroit a couple days ago, so it’s a possibility. But this thing comes and goes. Prior to today, the last couple days, he said it felt really good. And then today it flared up again. Although we discussed it, I don’t know if four or five days would do anything, because sometimes he comes in from sleeping overnight and feels good.
“We really want Miggy in the lineup because he’s such a valuable part of the team, such a good player, and he’s just a presence being in the lineup. We obviously need him to be healthy, too, so it’s such a delicate balance. He’s pretty honest with me on how he feels. …
“I said to him, ‘If we think it’s necessary, we can do this.’ But he kind of balked at that.”
Cabrera referred all questions to Ausmus and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand, which is consistent with what he has done since the All-Star break.
Ausmus said he weighed whether to start Cabrera at first base until less than an hour before game time Saturday night. When Cabrera felt good taking swings and moving around, Ausmus wrote him in. If he hadn’t felt good, Ausmus said, he would have DH’ed.
“He’s not averse to DHing,” Ausmus said, “but generally speaking he would rather be in the field. … From my perspective, if Miggy tells me he’s OK, and we’ve got a young guy, a contact pitcher, on the mound [Saturday night with Kyle Ryan], I’d rather have Miggy at first for his defense.”