TORONTO -- The Tigers began this season hoping that a healthy Miguel Cabrera could make a big difference in their fortunes this season. Three games in, they were left hoping his right hand wasn’t seriously damaged after being struck by an Aaron Sanchez fastball and suffering a contusion Saturday afternoon
TORONTO -- The Tigers began this season hoping that a healthy Miguel Cabrera could make a big difference in their fortunes this season. Three games in, they were left hoping his right hand wasn’t seriously damaged after being struck by an Aaron Sanchez fastball and suffering a contusion Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre during the Tigers' 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays. X-rays were negative, much to their relief.
“It swelled up, so we got him off the field and got him x-rayed,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Everything’s fine. Nothing’s broken. We’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Essentially, Cabrera is considered day-to-day. Gardenhire had planned to use him at designated hitter in Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays, but could revisit depending on how Cabrera feels.
Cabrera, 0-for-14 off Sanchez entering the game, had singles in his first two at-bats. After Cabrera fouled off a first-pitch changeup to lead off the sixth inning, Sanchez tried to go inside with a 93 mph two-seamer and missed, hitting Cabrera on the base of his right hand, below his pinky finger.
"I think I was too quick to the plate," Sanchez said. "My arm was kind of lagging a little bit and it just got away from me."
Cabrera was shaking his hand in discomfort but seemed insistent on staying in the game. Gardenhire talked him into leaving.
“He didn’t like what he saw,” Cabrera said, “So we got an x-ray to make sure it wasn’t broken.”
Mikie Mahtook pinch-ran for him.
Cabrera missed the final 94 games of last season with a torn biceps muscle suffered on a swing June 12 against the Yankees. Surgery repaired the tear, and Cabrera had encouraging swings for most of Spring Training. His bigger worry were his legs and back, which had been injury issues in the past.
Any extended absence for Cabrera would be devastating for a Tigers offense that has struggled to plate runs so far this season. Christin Stewart’s go-ahead 10th-inning homer on Opening Day is Detroit’s only run-scoring hit through the first 28 innings of the year.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.