Tigers manager Jim Leyland isn’t predicting his team will reach the World Series this year, he’s just preparing for a best-case scenario. On Wednesday, Leyland had first baseman Miguel Cabrera take ground balls at third before the team’s game against Kansas City. The reasoning behind the move is pretty simple: Leyland wants to put his best offensive lineup on the field even when they lose the DH in a National League park.
Detroit’s regular lineup features Alex Avila at catcher, Cabrera at first, and Victor Martinez DHing. Those three players have been Detroit’s best hitters this year.
Unfortunately, during interleague play games they would routinely lose one of those hitters. Often times Avila would catch, and either Cabrera or Victor would play first or sit out. Martinez caught a few games to keep both his and Cabrera’s bats in the lineup. They even played Avila at third once to keep the offense stacked.
Moving Cabrera to third for a few games may seem strange, but it actually makes sense. You may recall that Miggy played third and left field when he was first called up by the Marlins in 2003. He even played two full seasons at the hot corner in ’05 and ’06, and the Tigers played him there for 14 games in 2008. He may seem content as an immobile first baseman these days, but once upon a time he was a butcher at third and in the outfield. Detroit fans should only wish to see a repeat of those days in the coming weeks.Google+