Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera's availability is dependent on how he feels during a day off on Thursday and added that he would be surprised if Cabrera didn't suit up against Houston. Cabrera has not played since July 3 because of a Grade 3 strained left calf, sustained while running the bases. It was the first time he has landed on the DL in his 13-year career.
Ausmus said he is concerned about Cabrera returning to first base and is not sure if the slugger would play all three games this weekend. The team has discussed using Cabrera as a designated hitter.
“The only thing I’m worried about is the first step,” Ausmus said to the Detroit Free Press. "First step laterally for a ground ball or coming out of the box hard. Even kind of rounding first and realizing you might be able to reach second and, all of a sudden, you turn the afterburners on.”
At the time he went on the DL, Cabrera led the American League in batting average and on-base percentage. The two-time AL MVP and nine-time All-Star has 15 home runs and 54 RBIs in 77 games this season for Detroit, which is 13 1/2 games behind the Kansas City Royals in the AL Central.
Detroit, which has won four straight AL Central titles, is also 4 1/2 games out of the second spot in the wild-card race.
- Scooby Axson