DETROIT -- Tigers slugger Jose Cabrera will have season-ending surgery after rupturing his left biceps tendon, manager Ron Gardenhire announced on Tuesday after the Tigers' 6-4 loss to the Twins.
"Definitely a big blow for our ballclub and for that young man trying to come back," said Gardenhire. "I feel terrible for him. He feels terrible. We've got to try to help him get through this thing. It's a very sad day for our baseball team. He's a special player and a special person to have around here. It's a blow. I feel terrible."
Cabrera exited in the bottom of the third inning while at the plate at Comerica Park. Cabrera, at the dish for his second at-bat, swung at a 1-1 pitch and immediately dropped the bat and grasped his upper left arm.
"When he left his bat and started walking, he knew it," said Gardenhire. "He felt it pop."
Head athletic trainer Doug Teter and Gardenhire left the Tigers' dugout to meet Cabrera, who was already walking toward them. They paused briefly before continuing down the steps to the clubhouse.
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Gardenhire was with Cabrera in the clubhouse when the news came.
"He feels bad. He feels really bad," Gardenhire said. "He feels like he's letting people down. Here's a guy that's a warrior, goes out there trying to play through -- well, you've seen him. He feels terrible."
Gardenhire said he doesn't know what the timetable is for Cabrera, beyond the fact that he won't play again this season.
Nicholas Castellanos said the mood in the clubhouse after the game was a bit dull as players grappled with the news, but it was that way only for a moment. Gardenhire came in and told his team to keep battling, starting on Wednesday, and he told Castellanos to put on some music.
As for how the Tigers are going to deal with another injury, Gardenhire said John Hicks will move over to first for the time being. Hicks played well at first for most of May when Cabrera was on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, hitting .304 with 14 RBIs for the month. Gardenhire said the team will recall infielder Ronny Rodriguez from Triple-A Toledo. Rodriguez was called up the first time on May 31, hitting .105 in seven games.
"Everybody has to do their part to pick up the slack," said Castellanos.
This had been a relatively healthy and successful season for Cabrera until he went to the DL on May 4 with a right hamstring strain. He returned to the Tigers' lineup on June 1 and had played in every game since.