Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland can't wait for Miguel Cabrera to get back to third base.
Not that he fancies Cabrera a Gold Glove third baseman, but he wants the slugger in the field "because of how it makes the rest of the lineup look," Leyland said.
When Leyland has to use Cabrera as the designated hitter to keep him in the lineup, that means he has to find someone else to play third base.
No knock on Jeff Baker or Ramon Santiago, but they're not Miguel Cabrera.
And when Cabrera is the DH, that means Leyland has to put Delmon Young in left field.
No knock on Young, but he's not Andy Dirks or Quintin Berry in left field. The reason Young was yanked from regular duty in the outfield earlier this season was to get a better glove and another hitter in the lineup.
When Young plays left, that means Leyland has to choose between Dirks, Brennan Boesch or Berry to play right field.
So the difference between having Cabrera as the DH or at third essentially comes down to the difference between having Baker/Santiago hitting or choosing between Boesch/Dirks/Berry.
That's part of the reason Leyland ultimately decided to hold Cabrera out of action Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, a gamble he won when Detroit posted a 5-2 victory. Combined with the schedule break on Monday, it gave Cabrera two days of treatment without putting undue stress on his ankle.
"I'm pretty confident Miguel Cabrera will be able to play third base at Kansas City (on Tuesday night)," Leyland said. "But is it set in stone? No.
"It wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to DH him Tuesday night."