Tigers' Cabrera approaches first at-bats with excitement
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) Detroit sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez welcomed their first Grapefruit League at-bats of the season.
Cabrera, who had offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his right foot, went 1 for 3 with a single and two strikeouts in a split-squad tie game against the Nationals.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera would be a designated hitter Tuesday. He didn't make any guarantees whether Cabrera would be ready for opening day, but said the odds were better than 50-50.
As for Cabrera, he was just happy to be back on the field.
''I was very excited today,'' said Cabrera, who won the AL Triple Crown in 2013 and batted .313 with 25 homers and 109 RBI last season. ''I wasn't excited after striking out my first time up. I was restless. It was like taking a long vacation.''
Martinez, the 2014 AL MVP runner-up who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee in February, was hitless in the split-squad loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
''It feels great to get the first one out of the way,'' he said.
Martinez said the injury, which he suffered playing catch with his brother, briefly caused him to flash back to 2012, when a torn ACL in the same knee forced him to miss the entire season.
He struck out in his first at bat and grounded out to first base in his next two at bats. But he said the results were unimportant at this point.
''Everything felt pretty good, coming out of the box and swinging, so I'm happy with how the day went today.''