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.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: