Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Jason Beck of MLB.com earlier today that Miguel Cabrera won’t be in the lineup tomorrow against the Blue Jays, but could make his spring training debut Monday against the Yankees.
“Monday’s more of a possibility [than Sunday],” Leyland said, “but I’m not sure about Monday either.”
Cabrera didn’t make the trip for today’s exhibition opener against the Blue Jays, as he stayed back to work with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Leyland wants him to get his legs in shape before he appears in a game.
One interesting note passed along by Beck earlier this morning is that Cabrera reported to spring training weighing 270 pounds, 30 pounds more than he was listed in the team’s media guide last season. However, Cabrera’s personal trainer downplayed any concerns about his physical conditioning in light of his recent DWI, saying that his body fat is down and that number is right around or slightly under where he was before he reported to spring training last year.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.