MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Saturday's 5-4 win over Minnesota, the Tigers placed Jose Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain suffered in Friday's loss to the Twins at Target Field. But manager Brad Ausmus said they're hopeful Cabrera will be ready to return when he's eligible to
MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Saturday's 5-4 win over Minnesota, the Tigers placed Jose Cabrera on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain suffered in Friday's loss to the Twins at Target Field. But manager Brad Ausmus said they're hopeful Cabrera will be ready to return when he's eligible to be activated on May 1.
"I don't know," Cabrera said. "We'll see how it feels, but I don't really know."
Catcher John Hicks was called up from Triple-A Toledo to take Cabrera's spot. Hicks started at first base Saturday against Twins lefty Adalberto Mejia, going 2-for-5 with an RBI single against his former organization.
Cabrera first felt the injury when he made a diving attempt at Robbie Grossman's two-run single in the sixth inning, a ground ball just out of reach of Cabrera and second baseman Ian Kinsler. Cabrera finished the inning, but he hobbled off the field after stretching to catch Nicholas Castellanos' throw from third base for the third out.
"I dove for that play and felt a tug in my groin," Cabrera said.
Cabrera underwent an MRI exam Saturday morning. The Tigers waited for the results before deciding whether the strain would keep him out long enough to require a 10-day DL stint. Detroit took the decision up to just over an hour before first pitch Saturday after receiving an extension from Major League Baseball.
"We're hopeful that the 10 days is enough," Ausmus said. "I think they said it was maybe a one-plus grade strain, between a 1 and a 2 I guess."
Cabrera has played through groin injuries before; he won a batting title in 2013 with a groin injury that required core muscle surgery at season's end. But Cabrera was 30 years old then, not 34. And that was a late-season injury in the midst of a postseason chase. This is an April injury for a team that knows it cannot afford a long-term absence from Cabrera.
"It's big," Cabrera said. "It's a bad time right now for an injury like that. Diving on a play, it's tough."
Even before the MRI results came in, Ausmus said Cabrera wouldn't play the remainder of the series, resting until at least Tuesday's series opener at home against Seattle. The DL move will sideline Cabrera until at least May 1, when the Tigers open a four-game series against the Indians at Comerica Park.
Cabrera, hobbled by back soreness in Spring Training, started the season in a 3-for-28 slump, but he rebounded to go 12-for-28 with three homers and nine RBIs, including two three-hit games in the past three days. He entered Saturday batting .268.
His injury leaves the Tigers lineup without arguably its two best hitters in Cabrera and J.D. Martinez, who began the season on the disabled list with a right midfoot strain.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
An elite contributor in the batting-average and run-production departments, the ultra-consistent Cabrera will be missed during his second career disabled-list stint. Owners seeking a reliable replacement should scan waivers for one of Mitch Moreland, Jedd Gyorko or Yulieski Gurriel. Meanwhile, those with a greater appetite for risk-reward could pursue Mike Napoli, Greg Bird or Tommy Joseph.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.