Miguel Cabrera is in the Best Shape of His Life

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I share Aaron’s dubiousness about Miguel Cabrera playing third base for the Tigers.  And I laughed during the Prince Fielder press conference when Fielder said this:

“I’m confident in Miguel doing a good job. That’s where he started out, at third base.”

Which is why Chipper Jones will be playing shortstop for the Braves, Jim Thome will be playing third base for the Phillies and Rick Ankiel will be the opening day starter for the Nationals.

But maybe we shouldn’t mock.  During that press conference, Jim Leyland made an allusion to Miguel Caberea losing weight and being just fine at third base.  Then a recent picture of Miguel Cabrera — courtesy of his personal trainer Radhi Muhammad of 4.40 Fitness and Athlete Development — was forwarded to me.  Check this out:

source:

Mercy me. Two tickets to the gun show, please!

I have no idea if that translates to better-than-expected play at third base. But I’m just sayin’, maybe we need to revise this whole “the Tigers infield is fat” thing. Because it doesn’t seem to apply to Miguel Cabrera at the moment.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.