Miguel Cabrera arrives at Tigers camp, MLB issues statement

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In advance of Miguel Cabrera arriving at Tigers camp and speaking to reporters this afternoon, MLB has issued the following statement about his status following last week’s drunk driving arrest:

Consistent with our policy, over the past several days Miguel Cabrera has been evaluated by representatives of the Treatment Board jointly operated by the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA.

Our Treatment Board is staffed by outstanding doctors who are experts in dealing with addiction issues. Mr. Cabrera has voluntarily cooperated and has been completely forthcoming in this process.

As a result of the evaluation, the Treatment Board has recommended a multifaceted, professionally administered program for Mr. Cabrera, which will include supervision as is necessary to ensure that he adheres to his program.

Mr. Cabrera understands the importance of this program and is fully committed to the program. He also understands that any future alcohol-related incidents could involve more serious consequences.

In other words he’ll enter some sort of supervised program, the details of which aren’t clear, and will not be punished by MLB or the Tigers at this time. He’s expected to participate fully in team workouts as soon as tomorrow and should be ready for game action next week.

“Consistent with our policy, over the past several days Miguel Cabrera has been evaluated by representatives of the Treatment Board jointly operated by the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA,” MLB executive vice president of labor relations Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Our Treatment Board is staffed by outstanding doctors who are experts in dealing with addiction issues. Mr. Cabrera has voluntarily cooperated and has been completely forthcoming in this process. As a result of the evaluation, the Treatment Board has recommended a multifaceted, professionally administered program for Mr. Cabrera, which will include supervision as is necessary to ensure that he adheres to his program. Mr. Cabrera understands the importance of this program and is fully committed to the program. He also understands that any future alcohol-related incidents could involve more serious consequences.”

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.