Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers was forced to leave the game Sunday night while playing the Boston Red Sox. At the bottom of the sixth inning, Cabrera was having hamstring tightness which resulted in the exit. He is currently being considered day to day.
Cabrera was replaced by pinch runner Don Kelly after seen struggling to run to first base after hitting a single. He had a brief conversation with manager Brad Ausmus and trainer Kevin Rand which resulted in being replaced.
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This is not Cabrera’s first problem with his hamstrings. He left a game against the Texas Rangers in May with what was said at the time to be a cramp in his hamstring. He only missed the one game and returned to the lineup the following day to play against the Oakland Athletics.
“I think the at-bat we took him out, you could tell that it started to bother him,” said Ausmus. “There was no reason to risk a major injury. We’ll have to see how he feels tomorrow. We won’t make a decision until just before the game tomorrow.”
Cabrera had two hits in three at-bats when he departed. He doubled in the fourth and scored the Tigers’ second run on a single by Victor Martinez.
Cabrera is curring batting .326/.377/.564 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI through 59 games this season.
Rather than miss too many games, the Tigers have the choice to place Cabrera at designated hitter for the time being rather than aggravate anything further. Being day to day is a good sign that there is nothing too serious going on and that he will be back in the lineup in no time. But this could also be a catch 22. According to Ausmus, they could approach the situation in a couple different ways.
“The problem with doing that is you’re actually sitting around a lot more so the muscle kind of gets cold and then you go up there and try to take a step and you try to run as opposed to playing first, where the muscle stays heated and you’re moving around more often,” Ausmus said. “There’s kind of two schools of thought. He doesn’t have to move as much if he DH’s but the muscle could be cold. But do you send him out to play first and keep his muscle hot but then he puts too much stress on it?”
Only time will tell which approach the Tigers decide to go with.