Miguel Cabrera Injury: Tigers Third Baseman Will Be Ready For Opening Day

Miguel Cabrera took a groundball to the face a week ago, causing a small fracture under his right eye and requiring eight stitches, but he says he'll be ready to play on April 5 in Detroit.

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5 Total Updates since March 20, 2012
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Miguel Cabrera To Play On Friday, Be In Opening Day Lineup

For at least a month, a lot of us have been waiting to watch Miguel Cabrera play third base and do something like get his watch caught on the pitcher's mound when charging a bunt. It was going to be hilarious! But last week Cabrera took a grounder off the face that was so brutal, so painful-looking, that it was impossible to make fun of him. It was just a nasty injury.

But it won't cause Cabrera to miss any of the regular season:

The Cabrera experiment will continue, even if the idea of putting him back at third base is still a little silly in a season where the Tigers' regular DH is out for the year. According to Baseball Reference, the worst defensive season in history according to Fielding Runs was Ryan Braun in 2007. This is going to make the HR chase of 1998 look like professional-lacrosse record chase.

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Miguel Cabrera Cleared To Resume Physical Activity

It’s a slow process, but the TigersMiguel Cabrera is going to begin limited physical activity, eight days after he took a ground ball off his eye. (Not recommended, incidentally. Blood and stitches were involved.) Steve Kornacki:

“The doctor checked Miguel’s vision and there were no vision problems,” said Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand. “All of his eye movements were normal, and he was cleared to begin physical activity today.

“He will do conditioning in the weight room today. If all goes well, he will be cleared to resume limited baseball activities on Wednesday — stuff like taking ground balls.”

When asked for the earliest date Cabrera could resume game activity, Rand said, “It’s too early. We need to see him through these couple days.”

The Tigers are going to open their season at Comerica Park a week from Thursday — that’s nine days from now — and Cabrera says he’ll be there:

“I’ll be ready,” Cabrera said on Monday of Opening Day. “Don’t worry.”

For more on Cabrera and the Tigers, please visit Bless You Boys and SB Nation Detroit.

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Baseball Prospectus: No, Seriously, Miguel Cabrera At Third Probably Isn't A Good Idea

You. The person reading this right now. You don't expect the Miguel Cabrera-at-third experiment to work. I am not a sorcerer; I am not rummaging through your thoughts. I just took an educated guess.

Over at Baseball Prospectus, the fantastic Ben Lindbergh digs into the inarguable (that Miguel Cabrera is, like Leon, getting laaaarrrrger) and the scientific (digging through baseball history to see when other players went to a more difficult position when they were 29 or older). The result is a list of players that doesn't exactly bode well for Cabrera:

A couple factors set Cabrera apart from most members of this list. For one thing, Cabrera is probably the worst fielder to attempt this switch: he’s already cost his teams over seven wins in the field, including almost three at first base in Detroit over the past three seasons. For another, he’s not making a simple switch from first to left or left to right.

There is one comp: Kevin Youkilis. The problem with the comparison is that Youkilis was a good first baseman, whereas Cabrera wasn't. There really isn't a perfect comparison for Miggy at third base. But if the switch works, it'll be something as surprising as Rick Ankiel returning as a center fielder, or Bronson Arroyo singing something that you'd listen to of your own volition. It would be a stunning turn of events.

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Miguel Cabrera Injury: Small Fracture Could Put Opening Day In Jeopardy

Miguel Cabrera hadn't regularly played third base for over four years before this spring. Miguel Cabrera took a hard-hit groundball off the face on Monday. Those two tidbits are probably related. And from Buster Olney, we have an update:

A couple of weeks puts the return date right around April 5, which is when the Detroit Tigers open their season against the Red Sox. There's a chance that Cabrera isn't going to miss any meaningful time at all.

The Tigers weren't expecting Brooks Robinson, but they were probably a little surprised that it only took a couple of weeks for Cabrera to take a ball off his face. The over/under on when Cabrera becomes the regular DH: May 15.

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Miguel Cabrera Injury: Pence's Hot Grounder Knocks Out Tigers 3B

Monday afternoon in the first inning of the Tigers-Phillies exhibition game, Miguel Cabrera was struck on the left cheek by a hot grounder off Hunter Pence's bat and left the game, bleeding profusely.

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