KANSAS CITY -- Jose Cabrera spent last offseason trying to work his body into shape to avoid the disabled list this season. A right hamstring strain sustained while running out an infield single on Thursday ended that hope.On Friday, the Tigers placed their slugger and former Triple Crown winner on
KANSAS CITY -- Jose Cabrera spent last offseason trying to work his body into shape to avoid the disabled list this season. A right hamstring strain sustained while running out an infield single on Thursday ended that hope.
On Friday, the Tigers placed their slugger and former Triple Crown winner on the 10-day disabled list. They're hoping that's all the time they need to get him back, but no timetable is set for his return.
"They're calling this one more of a strain," manager Ron Gardenhire said, "but it's still a hamstring problem. We'll just have to see how it goes. I can't tell you if 10 days is enough. Only he will be able to do that as we go along."
It was a frustrating development for Cabrera, who missed three games earlier this week following a left biceps spasm. He returned to the lineup on Thursday, only to sustain a different injury when he accelerated to first base.
Cabrera was in good spirits before Friday's game against the Royals, certainly better than the frustration that set in Thursday following the injury. He had no update on the timetable.
"He knew that he got it," Gardenhire said. "He said he [felt] it at first base a little bit, and then when he went running to second base, he knew for a fact that he had a hamstring problem, so he just walked off the field before I got out there. He knew, and we'll just let him get well."
Cabrera also missed a game with a left hip flexor strain last month after taking a fall rounding first base.
Despite the injuries, Cabrera has had a resurgent season at the plate, which makes his absence a tough one for the Tigers. Cabrera is batting .323 (30-for-93) with nine doubles, three home runs, 21 RBIs and a .924 OPS. His average exit velocity of 95.3 mph was tied for fourth among Major League hitters with at least 50 batted balls entering play on Friday.
John Hicks has been filling in at first base for Cabrera the last few days and will continue in that role, evidenced by the Tigers' callup of a catcher -- Grayson Greiner joins the team from Triple-A Toledo for his first Major League stint -- to fill Cabrera's roster spot and back up starter James McCann.
"He's a strong young man and he can drive a baseball," Gardenhire said. "He'll definitely get at-bats. He's played pretty good over at first base. He moves around OK, and he handles himself well. It benefits him because now he's going to get an opportunity to play more and get more swings.
"We just have to fill a hole here. It's a big hole when you're filling a hole for Cabrera. I don't ask him to try to do anything like that. I just want him to go out and be himself and play. That's what he's been doing so far."
A third-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, Greiner hit .259 (15-for-58) with four doubles, a home run and seven RBIs with the Mud Hens before being scratched from their lineup on Thursday night to make the trip from Durham, N.C.
"My wife, son and dad were in attendance in Durham, so I got to share it with them face-to-face, which was awesome," Greiner said. "They made the flight up here, so they're here soaking it all in."
Joining Greiner on the trip to Kansas City is left-hander Blaine Hardy, whose contract was purchased from the Hens to fill the bullpen spot opened when Chad Bell was optioned to Toledo after Thursday's loss. The Tigers designated Hardy for assignment in Spring Training, but he has been stellar in a swing role for the Mud Hens, having allowed just two runs on 11 hits over 24 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts in four starts and three relief appearances.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.