Jim Leyland backtracks on Miguel Cabrera being in the best shape of his life

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You know, I’m beginning to think that you can’t necessarily take someone’s word for it when they say a player is in the best shape of his life.

For example, Jim Leyland said that of Miguel Cabrera while he still stunk of scotch the morning of his DUI arrest. Now, however, he’s saying that may not be the case:

“I’m getting Miguel Cabrera into baseball shape, and that’s my job as field manager,” Leyland said. “He can be either too light, or too heavy, and the secret is to get him at a perfect place.

“He’s a big man who needs weight, but not excess weight. He needs weight that will maintain his strength but not weight that makes him sluggish.”

Asked if Cabrera was in the process of shedding pounds, Leyland answered:

“That would be safe to say.”

Oh, and Leyland is not pleased with reporters asking him questions about Cabrera, saying when asked about Cabrera that, he’s “tired of people coming in here looking for (stuff).”  Except those parenthesis indicate that he didn’t say “stuff.”

And I agree wholeheartedly with Leyland. I mean, we have seen MVP-caliber first basemen abuse alcohol, drive drunk, threaten to burn down bars and ask police officers to kill them so many times at this point that it’s become a dog-bites-man kind of thing.

Nothing to see here reporters, move along!

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

Raisel Iglesias injured elbow and hips falling in the shower

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Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.

Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”

Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.

Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.