Miguel Cabrera to have fracture examined Tuesday, could be ready for Opening Day

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Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera assured reporters last week that he was not going to miss the Tigers’ regular-season opener despite being diagnosed with a small fracture under his right eye. And it appears as though his optimism was warranted.

From John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press comes word that Cabrera is scheduled for a check-up exam Tuesday with team doctors. And if it is determined during that appointment that the third baseman has made sufficient progress, he will immediately be cleared to resume all baseball activities.

Cabrera would then be allowed to return to the Tigers’ Grapefruit League lineup on Thursday or Friday, giving him ample time to get properly warmed up for Detroit’s April 5 matchup with the Red Sox.

“If we get medical clearance, he’ll be in the lineup Opening Day,” manager Jim Leyland said Saturday. “If they want to sit on this another week, that’s different. It all sounds good, but I’ll be satisfied when I see him in the three-hole, playing.”

Cabrera, 28, was 13-for-30 (.433/.528/.633) this spring before suffering the facial fracture.

Former major league pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez dies in traffic accident

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Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.

The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.

The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: