Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera Plans to Return Friday against Houston Astros
Although it hasn’t been made official yet, the Detroit Tigers expect their All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera to be back in the lineup on Friday when the team opens up their three-game series against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Cabrera has missed the last six weeks due to a Grade 3 calf strain.
Unless the first baseman suffers a set back in warm ups, he will be in the lineup according to MLive.com. Manager Brad Ausmus also told reporters that he plans to rest Cabrera on Saturday before then starting him again on Sunday if all goes according to plan.
In order to make room for Cabrera, the Tigers will have to open up a roster spot, and that could mean left-handed reliever Kyle Ryan returning to Triple-A. MLive.com speculates the team could also designate other left-handed relief pitcher Tom Gorzelanny for assignment if they would rather keep Ryan. Detroit is carrying an extra relief pitcher and three left-handed relievers.
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Cabrera might not be himself right away, but as always, he should have quite an effect on the lineup and other players playing time. Jefry Marte can return to his more natural position of third base, but he won’t be in the lineup every day with Nick Castellanos at the hot corner. Additionally, Alex Avila and James McCann will go back to splitting time behind the dish.
Cabrera was leading the American League in hitting before he went down to injury. He is slashing .350/.456/.578 with 15 home runs, 54 RBI and 43 runs. Cabrera leads the AL in on-base percentage and was close to the tops in the RBI category as well before the calf strain.
The first baseman could still win the AL batting title, but he will have to play a lot to reach enough plate appearances to qualify. Cabrera needs approximately 169 more plate appearances, so he needs to start in about 40 of the Tigers remaining 48 games to reach that total.
Of course, the healthy of Cabrera going into next season should be the No. 1 priority for Detroit.
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