Detroit Tigers: Keep Miguel Cabrera at First Base

Miguel Cabrera could be back at third? If Victor Martinez is feeling fine and Brad Ausmus has his way, the Detroit Tigers franchise face could be back at third base for games against National League teams.

Aug 14, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) dives into first base on a pickoff attempt during the third inning as Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) fields the throw at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t like it.

Not one bit.

I understand the idea behind putting Miggy on third. It allows V-Mart to get into the game at first; but to me, it just screams injury-waiting-to-happen. Of course, these two could get injured tripping over bases, popping a foul ball off their feet, or bending over to tie their shoes, but putting them both on defense at the same time in the first two games just does not seem smart.

Martinez and Miggy have both told the media that they are feeling great after an injury-free off-season. They are both swinging the bat and showing off their skills in Lakeland. It’s a good thing that they will be opening the season in Miami where they don’t have to worry about the wind chill and cold muscles. But, these two need to make it to the postseason. Putting Miggy on the hot corner and Victor on first is really not necessary.

Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) fields a ground ball as Mike Aviles (back) looks on during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Every game is important to the Tigers in their race for the postseason, but the Marlins should not be too tough to beat. Why couldn’t Nick Castellanos play third with Miggy staying on first? If the Tigers need Victor Martinez to come in to hit, he can always pinch hit.

Cabrera has played third base in the past, but not since 2014. Martinez only played first base a handful of times last year when Cabrera was on the DL. Martinez looked stiff on the base and in his 10 games at first in 2015, he committed one error, fielding .989. Cabrera played third base in 10 games in 2014 where he committed one error with a fielding percentage of .950. Those stats are so limited that they mean very little, but they do show their limitations at these positions.

On the flip side, fans would enjoy watching these two on the field and at the plate. The rumor that both would be playing in Miami would help fill a few more seats at Marlin Park. The fact that the fences have been shortened would also allow the two to work on their home run stats. But, we fans all know that if anything happens to these two, everyone will be screaming for the head of Brad Ausmus. It just seems too early in the season for this to happen.

As a fan with a blog and a lover of the Tigers, I am begging Ausmus, Martinez, and Cabrera to think long and hard about the defensive changes. It’s quite obvious that Nick Castellanos has been working out in preparation for a successful season at third.

Put the boys at their designated bases and protect the postseason.