Miguel Cabrera cleared two major hurdles in his recovery from a Grade 3 calf strain on Tuesday evening, running the bases and taking live batting practice with teammates before the Tigers’ series opener at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told MLB.com’s Jason Beck after the workout that everything went as planned and Cabrera could be cleared to return to the active roster this weekend in Houston. It sounds like the 32-year-old slugger is going to be allowed to skip a minor league rehab assignment.
Cabrera has been on the disabled list since July 4. In his absence, the Tigers have fallen out of contention in both the AL Central and Wild Card race. They were sellers at the July 31 trade deadline and cut ties with longtime GM Dave Dombrowski last week.
This is the first disabled list stint of Cabrera’s illustrious 13-year major league career.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.