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.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”