Page last updated on Mon Dec 05 15:41:25 EST 2016
Fri, 23 Mar 2012 01:13 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera has a broken bone below his right eye after being struck by a bad-hop grounder, sidelining the star slugger for a minimum of one week with Opening Day on deck. Las Vegas odds

The American League Central champions start April 5th at home against Boston, giving Cabrera less than 2½ weeks to get on.

“Hopefully, I might be prepared to open the season,” Cabrera declared. Vegas odds

Cabrera had little risk Monday on a tough shot by Philadelphia’s Hunter Pence that resulted in a bloody gash and needed 8 stitches. The Tigers shifted their largest hitter across the diamond this year to make room for new 1st baseman Prince Fielder; deeply aware Cabrera gains his money with a bat, not a glove.

Cabrera was wearing sunglasses when he and Tigers president Dave Dombrowski addressed the injury in the right-field corner at Joker Marchant Stadium before Detroit hosted Atlanta.

Dombrowski called Cabrera’s vision “ideal.”

“We’ll know a lot more in a week,” Dombrowski related. “If he wants to go rest he can go home, and he’s always welcome here.”

Cabrera announced: “I am assured I am able to play on Opening Day.”

Cabrera last played 3rd base in 2008, when he started fourteen games for Detroit Tigers. He was the Miami Marlins’ full-time 3rd baseman in 2006 and then again in 2007, when he made 23 errors and had a .941 fielding percentage.

Cabrera has been doing all right at the spot this spring. He’s doing even better at the plate — after hitting a major league-leading .344 last year with thirty home runs and 105 RBIs, he was batting .433 with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 RBIs in thirty exhibition at-bats.

Lately, Cabrera has been experimenting with wearing sunglasses in the field, a suggestion from fellow Tigers infielder Ramon Santiago.

Pence’s grounder at the Phillies’ field shattered Cabrera’s shades.

“There’s no doubt that his shades helped him a good deal,” Dombrowski declared. “Who knows what may have happened if he didn’t have the sunglasses on? You could see the imprint of the ball on his sun shades – the seams.”

Cabrera considered himself lucky.

“It’s part of the game,” he said. “I can see out of my eye.”

Danny Worth started at 3rd base for the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. They also have Brandon Inge, who’s spent a bit of time at the place.

Tiger’s chief Jim Leyland declined to discuss Cabrera’s standing at 3rd base before Tuesday’s game, exclaiming he’d already talked enough about the topic. Leyland knows that many folks look at Cabrera a wobbly fielder, at best, on a team predicted to score lots of runs.

“Watch him play, write what you need, give your opinion what you believe,” Leyland said a day earlier. “He’s doing great at 3rd base. Is he going to make plays like Brooks Robinson? For the 100th time this spring? No. Is he going to catch the routine plays, is he going to throw it accurately with one of the better arms in the league? Yes. Is he going to hit a lot of home runs and knock in lots of runs? Yes. He is our 3rd baseman.”

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