Breaking News:

Leyland agonizes over benching Cabrera

The SportsXchange

It could have been a no-win decision, except for the fact Detroit won with Miguel Cabrera sitting out for the first time this season.

Manager Jim Leyland spent a largely sleepless night Saturday wondering the best thing to do -- DH Cabrera and his ailing right ankle or get him off the foot altogether Sunday and take his potent bat out of the lineup.

With Detroit not playing Monday (but flying to Kansas City), it would give Cabrera two days of rest and possibly let him return to third base Tuesday against the Royals.

Of course if the Los Angeles Angels had pounded Detroit without Cabrera, folks would have been on Leyland like flies in a cow pasture.

It goes without saying Leyland would have second-guessed himself if Detroit had lost and Cabrera had DH'd.

He talked it over with his wife in their apartment Saturday night and "she asked me when she woke up if I'd made up my mind yet. I said, 'Nope.'"

He reported to Comerica Park and talked with a long list of people, including his trainers, coaches and boss.

There were no guarantees, but the consensus was Cabrera might, with two days of treatment and no playing, be able to return to third base Tuesday in Kansas City.

So Leyland didn't write Cabrera into his lineup.

"At the end of the day you do what's in your gut," Leyland said. "I could tell as soon as I saw him that he wasn't feeling real good.

"I want to make it clear, Miguel Cabrera did not ask for a day off. I decided. What's best for Miguel Cabrera is best for the Tigers."

Detroit got an RBI triple from Andy Dirks to tie the score 1-1 in the third. Then in the sixth, Prince Fielder hit a two-run home run and Delmon Young followed with a solo home run and the Tigers went on to win 5-2.

"They knew the big guy was out," Leyland said. "Some of the guys stepped up. I was proud of them. But I could sense it from the beginning.

"I'm pretty confident Miguel Cabrera will be able to play third in Kansas City. But is it set in stone? No. It wouldn't be the end of the world if I have to DH him one more game. I just don't want to because it changes our lineup, the way I want it to look."
View Comments (0)