Tigers hope Cabrera can return next week; Kreidler gets master class at third base

Detroit News

Detroit — Pretty busy day for Miguel Cabrera.

Saturday morning he drove to Ann Arbor with his daughter Isabella and got his first glimpse of the Big House. He was, to say the least, impressed.

“Amazing,” he said.

Isabella, a high school senior, might be attending the University of Michigan next year and he was taking her to visit the campus. But he couldn’t stay too long.

A couple of hours later he was on the field at Comerica Park hitting off the high-velocity pitching machine, trying to clear the final hurdles of his rehab from a biceps injury.

“He was swinging it freely,” manager AJ Hinch said. “He was strong. He didn’t get tired. He was more interested in how his swing looked than how he felt. All signs that are really good.”

Cabrera had several long conversations after his session, one with head athletic trainer Doug Teter, one with special assistant Alan Trammell and another with Hinch. He wants to be back in the lineup ASAP.

“It matters to him a lot,” Hinch said. “It bothers him that he’s not playing. He’s worked hard to get himself physically back and ready to play and now he wants to play. It matters to us. It matters to him.”

Hinch said Cabrera still has a couple more tests to pass. He did conditioning work on the field Saturday and will repeat the batting practice and conditioning tests on Sunday.

“I know his goal is to be an active player in Baltimore (Monday),” Hinch said. “And we’ve laid out what he needs to do to make that happen. With this being football Saturday, I’d say he’s about at the 50-yard line.”

Third base clinic

Rookie Ryan Kreidler had a rough night at third base Friday. The first hit of the game, by Elvis Andrus, was a ball that hit off his glove as he dived to his left. Then in the eighth inning, three balls were ripped, one off of him and two past him down the third-base line.

Infield coaches Ramon Santiago and Alfredo Amezaga as well as Trammell and Hinch were on the field working with Kreidler before the game.

“His positioning was fine, he just wasn’t happy with how he reacted to the ball,” Hinch said. “We were talking about the different hops that happen at third base and if you don’t read the first hop correctly — and that first hop might be very fast — your first reaction has to be your best reaction.

“Things happen fast at third base. Kreidler is finding out how tough that can be.”

The Tigers had a 2-0 lead in the eighth inning when Josh Harrison led off with a triple, hitting a ball down the line just past Kreidler’s dive. Andrus then hit a chopper that ate Kreidler up. It was originally scored an error but later changed to a single.

Jose Abreu followed scorching a two-run double down the third-base line.

“Where Abreu’s ball went, Kreidler was guarding the line as he was supposed to and Abreu still got it past him,” Hinch said. “You see where the ball goes and that should give him an understanding that the angle he took was decreasing his chances of making the play — as opposed to allowing him to cut off the angle.”

Both Abreu’s and Harrison’s balls angled toward the corner and caromed off the side wall. Kreidler hopped and then angled his dive away from the infield instead of taking a step and diving more directly to the ball.

On the Andrus ball, Hinch said Kreidler was in trouble right from his setup.

“He started himself in a position that created the bad hop,” he said. “He played it the best he could given that he was in no-where’s land to begin with. You can never be in the middle. You can either be back or you can be in. But when you end up in the middle tier, you create a bad hop for yourself.

“He handcuffed himself from his initial setup.”

Around the horn

The White Sox had to juggle their starting rotation on the fly Saturday. Johnny Cueto, the scheduled starter Saturday, was scratched. The club said he was under the weather.

Right-hander Davis Martin was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to start in his place. Also, right-hander Michael Kopech, scheduled for the finale, was placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation.

… The Tigers had a late lineup change, as well. Shortstop Javier Báez was held out of the lineup with soreness in his right knee. Kreidler replaced him in the starting lineup.

… Riley Greene went 0-for-5 Friday night, ending his 20-game on-base streak. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the longest by a Tigers rookie since Austin Jackson’s 25-game run in 2010.


Twitter: @cmccosky

White Sox at Tigers

First pitch: 12:10 p.m. Sunday, Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: BSD/97.1


TBD, White Sox: Scheduled starter Michael Kopech was put on the injured list Saturday with right shoulder inflammation. The White Sox said they would announce Sunday’s starter after the game.

RHP Drew Hutchison (2-8, 4.24), Tigers: Down to his last couple of starts in what has been somewhat of a renaissance season for Hutchison. He’s pitched in the most games (25), made the most starts (15) and thrown the most innings (91⅓) since he won 13 games for the Blue Jays in 2015. He ended up filling the role of veteran stabilizer the Tigers paid Michael Pineda $5.5 million to do.

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