The Blue Jays ultimately decided to place the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list for knee tendinitis Thursday night and call up shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, who was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo when Jose Reyes returned from the DL earlier this week.
Cabrera underwent an MRI before Friday's game, and the results confirmed the tendinitis diagnosis. Manager John Gibbons said he didn't have a timetable for Cabrera's return, but he didn't expect it to be a long-term problem.
"He did something in [St. Petersburg] the other day," manager John Gibbons said. "[He] twisted it, and that's when he starting feeling it a little bit more. And then yesterday it was just magnified. So he wasn't moving really well to begin with and then just kind of added to it. So we figured [it was] the best thing to do, because he might need a few days off anyway."
"If his knee's fine and it's just a few-day thing, then I don't see why it would be any longer," Gibbons said. "Might be the perfect time. Give him some time to rest his body, too."
Rajai Davis, who is hitting .304 with one home run and eight RBIs, will get a chance to play on a regular basis during Cabrera's absence.
Kawasaki will play both middle infield spots while in the Major Leagues, occasionally filling in for Emilio Bonifacio at second base depending on matchups.
The always-energetic Kawasaki, 32, hit .225 with a .337 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases in 60 games with the Blue Jays as Reyes' primarily replacement at shortstop.
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com.