By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Tigers have played 86 games this season, and so has superstar first baseman Miguel Cabrera. As the only player on the team who has not yet had a day off this season, Cabrera will get a rest Wednesday.
With two-time MVP Cabrera and five-time All-Star Victor Martinez missing from the lineup, the Detroit offense might look quite different Wednesday than it did Tuesday night, when the Tigers rallied from a five-run deficit and hung 14 runs on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That victory notwithstanding, the 51-win Dodgers present a challenge, particularly with Zack Greinke and his 2.66 ERA on the mound for the second game of the series. Against that kind of pitching, the Tigers would certainly benefit from Cabrera’s presence, particularly with Martinez out with an injury.
Ausmus explained his rationale for sitting Cabrera before the game Wednesday.
“Generally speaking, when you’re a regular player, first of all you want a day game off,” Ausmus said. “Night games are much easier – you get to sleep in and get a full night’s sleep, so day games are usually what regulars like. It’s really – it’s tough to play matchups with Miggy because he hits most people. To be truthful, the best time probably would have been Sunday, if they hadn’t changed it to a night game, because historically he and David Price, the numbers are in Price’s favor. But when they changed it to a night game, that kind of changed my thought process just because, again, day games are better for regulars.
“We’re playing outside the division,” Ausmus added, “actually playing outside the league if you want to get technical. So that was kind of the thought process behind it.”
As for Martinez, who has now missed six of the last eight games because of an injury to his side, Ausmus said the Tigers are still contemplating the option of keeping Martinez sidelined until after the All-Star Game break. If the Tigers went that route, Martinez would not play again until July 18.
“It’s definitely a consideration,” Ausmus said. “We haven’t made any decision, and I talked to him today and he actually said he felt a lot better today, which is a good sign. If we get to a point where it’s Friday and he hasn’t played, really, what’s the upside of taking a chance and playing him Saturday and Sunday, when you have four days coming off right behind that?
“We’ll have to make that decision at some point,” Ausmus continued, “but we haven’t made it yet.”