Pitchers and catchers report to camp in mid-february and positional players a few days later but They are always welcome to camp early. Miguel Cabrera is one of those players who usually comes into spring training early but this year he will me more than just fashionably late.
Miguel Cabrera, still recovering from major offseason ankle surgery, won’t be ready for the start of spring training but still could be on the club when the team heads north. Detroit Tigers beat writer Anthony Fenech spoke with trainer Kevin Rand about Cabrera’s status and tweeted what he found.
With Miggy’s next evaluation not coming until mid-February he probably won’t be ready when spring training begins. Remember Miggy has not been able to walk on that foot until just before Christmas so he will likely need some conditioning and rehab before returning to regular baseball activities. All things considered the timeline Miggy’s return could extend past the start of the regular season.
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Whatever the timeline may be, the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t rush Miguel Cabrera back into the line-up.
If Miggy does miss the start of the season the Tigers should be able to manage with newly acquired Yoenis Cespedes providing power in the middle of the line-up. Either he or Victor Martinez could bump up to the 3rd spot in the line-up if Miguel Cabrera happens to be on the shelf for longer than expected.
Cabrera’s absence could also mean the Victor Martinez will get some time at first base. With Don Kelly still a free agent, V-Mart is the only other sensible option to play at first. Ausmus could then leave the DH spot open to get some of the bench early at-bats.
The Tigers need a healthy Miguel Cabrera this season if they hope ton finally get a world series ring. For that reason they shouldn’t bring Miggy back until he is 100%. With a little help from Cespedes and Castellanos, the Martinez brothers should be able to hold the fort until Cabrera comes back.