By Will Burchfield
Miguel Cabrera is set to rejoin the Detroit Tigers lineup on Tuesday for the first time since April 21.
He has been on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right groin.
“All systems go,” Brad Ausmus said on Monday, after Cabrera took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases prior to the Tigers’ game versus the Cleveland Indians. “Just gotta make sure he gets out of bed okay in the morning before anything’s done.”
Asked if he was watching anything in particular in regard to Cabrera’s activity on Monday, Ausmus replied, “Just to see if there was any limp to his gait or if he was favoring anything. He looked normal to me.”
Barring anything unforeseen before Tuesday night’s game, Cabrera will be playing first base for the Tigers, batting third.
“There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t be at this point,” Ausmus said.
With Cabrera set to return on Tuesday and right fielder J.D. Martinez nearing his season debut, the Tigers are approaching full health.
“We said all along, we wanted to avoid big, long-term injuries,” Ausmus said. “Miggy’s a guy that you want all year, he’s generally a guy that plays 150-something games and he’s one of the best hitters in any league. Hopefully he’s healthy the rest of the way.”
When the Tigers activate Cabrera on Tuesday they’ll have to send someone down to Triple-A Toledo, likely either John Hicks or Jim Adduci. Both players have performed well in Cabrera’s stead.
“The call-ups we’ve had recently certainly have contributed offensively, and they didn’t hurt their own cause moving forward,” said Ausmus. “It’s always hard to tell someone they’re being sent down, (but) it’s a little easier when you tell them they’re being sent down because Miguel Cabrera’s coming off the disabled list.”
Cabrera was hitting .268 with three home runs and nine RBI over 16 games at the time of his injury.