The good news for the Detroit Tigers is that first baseman Miguel Cabrera was feeling healthy enough to be in the starting lineup against the Chicago White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field, and he hit a home run.
The bad news is that he started at designated hitter, and he will be monitored on a day-to-day basis for a hamstring injury that forced him to leave Sunday's game early. Manager Brad Ausmus said the issue isn't related to a groin injury that nagged Cabrera for the second half of last season and the playoffs.
"He said he felt a lot better coming in (Monday)," Ausmus said before Detroit's 6-5 loss to the White Sox. "I'm not sure how I'd classify it. It doesn't seem to be a strain. Maybe it's a cramp, kind of tightening of part of the hamstring tissue, but I'm not a professional. But that's kind of what it sounds like. He acted like it kind of tightened up on him as opposed to being overly stressed or stretched."
Cabrera, who went 2-for-4 and scored two runs, said he stayed loose between at-bats by just staying on his feet and moving around in the dugout and clubhouse. He hopes to be back at first base Tuesday, but he admitted the hamstring started to tighten up again in the later innings of Monday's game.
"It felt better," Cabrera said. "It felt better than (Sunday). Last couple innings it started getting tight again, but hopefully I can get back (Tuesday) in the field. I'm trying to get loose and trying to go out there and play."
Ausmus said the Tigers would take a conservative approach in regard to putting Cabrera back into the field. Cabrera is hitting .329 with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs.
"Well, we'd like to almost have him feel nothing when we're out on the field, but you know he had a similar thing against (the Texas Rangers) and came back and played the field the next day," Ausmus said. "We're just going to have to see."