Cabrera, Martinez batting third in split squad games

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Miguel Cabrera

Lakeland, Fla. – Batting third, the designated hitter, Miguel Cabrera.

It's going to be music to Tigers fans ears this afternoon when Cabrera walks to the plate for his first official spring training at-bat.

A similar scenario is expected to play out in Orlando, where Victor Martinez was expected to bat third and be the designated hitter for the Tigers' split-squad game against the Braves.

"Miggy said he felt good this morning," manager Brad Ausmus said. "We are still waiting to hear from Victor. We are anticipating everything is fine and he will be in the lineup, too."

Both players, coming off surgery, were expected to get three at-bats each.

"We feel like they are at a point where they can DH," Ausmus said Saturday after both players hit against minor league pitching. "But we don't want them trying to stretch singles into doubles or doubles into triples.

"That's more important than the hitting. They've been hitting on the field for two weeks. It's more about the movement."

Cabrera had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his right foot on Oct. 24, 2014. Martinez had arthroscopic surgery on his left meniscus on Feb. 10.

The Tigers are hopeful both will be ready to play by Opening Day, but Ausmus continues to preach patience and caution.

"There are still hurdles to clear," he said. "And we are not going to rush them."