From the Detroit Free Press comes word that Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera will miss a fourth straight game Friday due to lingering soreness in his left hip flexor. Don Kelly will get the start at third base and Matt Tuiasosopo will play left field as the American League Central-leading Tigers open a three-game set against the Phillies at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
Cabrera has reported some improvement in his hip and could be available to pinch-hit if he makes it through pregame batting practice. The Tigers, who enter play Friday with a three-game division lead over the Indians, aren’t going to rush him back until he’s discomfort-free.
Cabrera, 30, is batting .358/.454/.666 with 31 home runs and 96 RBI in 97 games this season.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”
Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.
Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.