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Miggy looks like usual self in spring debut

@beckjason
February 22, 2020

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's first look at live pitching this spring saw him work out of an 0-2 count and run it full. It also saw him pretend to appeal to first base on a check swing in classic Cabrera fashion before later hitting a line drive to the

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's first look at live pitching this spring saw him work out of an 0-2 count and run it full. It also saw him pretend to appeal to first base on a check swing in classic Cabrera fashion before later hitting a line drive to the opposite field.

In other words, it looked like a relatively typical Cabrera at-bat in the first inning of Saturday’s 8-8 tie against the Phillies.

Two innings after that first-inning lineout, Cabrera stepped to the plate with a runner on second following Niko Goodrum's leadoff double. Cabrera slapped the first pitch he saw from lefty Cole Irvin through the right side for an RBI single. Jorge Bonifacio then pinch-ran for the 2012 Triple Crown winner, ending Cabrera's day after two at-bats.

No, Cabrera didn’t crush a deep fly ball, let alone a home run. But as he tries to get back to his old swing, the mechanics look intact. He moved around fairly well on his ailing right knee.

Cabrera batted third Saturday in a lineup that looked like it would fit on Opening Day in about five weeks. Cameron Maybin and Goodrum batted ahead of Cabrera. C.J. Cron hit cleanup behind him, followed by fellow newcomer Jonathan Schoop. Jeimer Candelario, Christin Stewart, Austin Romine and JaCoby Jones rounded out the lineup.

“We have a little protection, Cabby’s going to get to swing,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s going to work out pretty good, I think. I like the looks of it.”

Pinero makes an impression

At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Daniel Pinero has a unique body frame for a player who started at every infield position last season -- but he does not have a unique body frame or face for Tigers camp.

Tigers pitching prospect Alex Faedo, Pinero’s teammate last year at Double-A Erie, is also 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, with similar facial features. So when Pinero approached Gardenhire with a question last week, the Tigers manager initially thought he was Faedo. It didn’t help that, at that point, position players hadn’t officially reported to camp and weren’t wearing their Spring Training jerseys.

“We look alike, honestly,” Pinero said. “It’s crazy. But it is what it is. I carry around a bat now so he knows.”

Moving out

The first move out of Tigers camp belonged to Alex Wilson, but it had nothing to do with the roster. His fifth-wheel trailer, which has served as his accommodations this spring, has moved out of the Joker Marchant Stadium parking lot, where it had been parked since before camp began.

Wilson moved the trailer on Thursday to a nearby campground where pitching coach Rick Anderson is also staying in a camper. The move had been planned, not simply to open up parking spots when games began, but to find a better spot for when his family joins him in the coming days.

Robson hit by line drive

Tigers outfield prospect Jake Robson is in the league's concussion protocol after being hit by a line drive in the dugout during Saturday’s game. The ball hit him on the side of his cheekbone.

“When a line drive goes in the middle of a bunch of people in the dugout, it was hot,” Gardenhire said. “All you hope for is that it doesn’t get you in the face, but I think it got him. They checked him out and he’s definitely going to have to miss a few days."

Romine barely eluded a similar injury. He was on deck when Stewart hit a broken-bat RBI single in the second inning. The pitch from Nick Pivetta sawed off Stewart’s bat, sending half of it back toward the fence behind home plate, narrowly missing a ducking Romine.

More injury news

• Third baseman Isaac Paredes, the Tigers' No. 5 prospect last season according to MLB Pipeline, is out for at least the next few days with soreness in his right arm.

• Right-hander Beau Burrows took an Alec Bohm line drive off his left hamstring during his five-run inning Saturday, but he is expected to be fine. The ball caromed off Burrows’ leg and rolled to first base as Bohm legged out a single.

Up next

The Tigers will have their first split-squad action of the spring on Sunday. Ivan Nova will make his spring debut when he starts against the Braves in North Port, while fellow newcomer Zack Godley will take the mound against the Pirates in Bradenton. Both games start at 1:05 p.m. ET and will air live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.