By: Will Burchfield
This is the inherent risk in sending MLB players to the World Baseball Classic.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera left Venezuela’s game in the sixth inning on Thursday night after appearing to tweak his back when he fouled off a pitch versus Hansel Robles of the Dominican Republic.
The at-bat ended when Cabrera hit a ground ball to third base and ran hard down the line, only to be thrown out at first on a spectacular play by Manny Machado.
As Jon Morosi reported afterward, Venezuela manager Omar Vizquel lifted Cabrera for “precautionary reasons” and diagnosed his injury as back tightness. Vizquel is also the Tigers first base coach.
The good news for the Tigers is Cabrera’s injury doesn’t appear to be anything serious. Vizquel texted Brad Ausmus on Friday morning and told him not to worry.
Cabrera has dealt with back issues in the past, including last season, but has rarely missed significant time.
Venezuela, 0-2 in second-round play and on the brink of elimination, will face Puerto Rico on Saturday in San Diego. If Cabrera is in the lineup, Tigers fans can rest assured everything is fine.