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Tigers give Cabrera night off, might miss 2-3 days

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera strained his left biceps muscle in a collision at first base with Kansas City's Cheslor Cuthbert Monday night. Cabrera will get the night off Tuesday.

Detroit – As you might have expected, Miguel Cabrera wanted to play Tuesday.

“He woke up feeling a lot better than he expected,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “But we’re going to be a little cautious. We’re going to need him for the next month and a half, so we’re giving him a full day off (Tuesday).”

Cabrera strained his left biceps muscle in a collision at first base with Kansas City's Cheslor Cuthbert Monday night. It was the second time in a month Cabrera has sustained an injury in the same area – both times it was on a play at first base where the runner ran through his left arm as he reached for the ball.

The good news for the Tigers is the damage is minimal and there will be no time spent on the disabled list. Ausmus said he expected Cabrera to miss two or three days at the most.

“I am certainly not concerned long-term,” Ausmus said. “I think it’s better to be cautious. If this was the last week of the season, I promise you Miggy would be playing, and he’d want to be playing. He’s proven that in the past.”

He finished the 2014 season on a broken foot and ankle, so yes, he’s proven he will play through pain. Before Tuesday, he’d played in 117 of the team’s 118 games, starting 115 of them.

He wanted to play Tuesday, too.

“I expect to play every day,” Cabrera said. “I don’t care (whether he’s in pain or not), I want to play. Sometimes you’ve got to step back and have a day off. I will try tomorrow again.”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia got the start at first base Tuesday. Ausmus said Victor Martinez was not a candidate to start at first base. The club doesn’t want to put any additional stress on his two surgically-repaired knees.

Casey McGehee and Andrew Romine are the other fill-in options at first.

Here is a rundown on the rest of the Tigers wounded players.

► Jordan Zimmermann (neck strain) threw a 20-pitch bullpen session before the game Tuesday. He threw all fastballs.

“It feels good, finally,” he said.

It was the fourth time Zimmermann has thrown since he visited a physical therapist in Maryland, one he used when he pitched for the Nationals. It was the first time he threw off a mound. He will throw another bullpen on Thursday and possibly a simulated game Sunday morning.

After that, he would have to make multiple rehab starts before being cleared to return, Ausmus said.

Zimmermann said his physical therapist discovered a couple of muscles in the neck that were extremely tight, which is believed to be the root of his pain.

“My neck was tight, just kind of locked up,” Zimmermann said. “We treated the neck but something else was causing the issue. The body is a big chain and we just went down the chain. We found a couple things that were tight, got them loosened up for a few days.

“Now it’s just doing a bunch of exercises and staying on top of it. It feels good to know what the issue was and what we can do to stay on top of it. Hopefully it never happens again.”

Best case scenario, Zimmermann could make his first rehab start either Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

► Jose Iglesias (hamstring) has begun some baseball activities. He was throwing on the field Tuesday.

“I am making progress,” he said. “It’s good.”

Iglesias has run two days on the AlterG treadmill, nearly at full body weight, and felt no discomfort.

“Same thing as yesterday,” he said. “I wake up with very little soreness. Nothing to worry about. I will just continue to increase activities.”

Iglesias would be eligible to come off the DL a week from Saturday (Aug. 27). He feels like he’s on target for that, though it is still early in the healing process.

► Mike Pelfrey (back) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday. He, too, will need to make multiple rehab starts before being cleared. He has thrown on flat ground the last three days.

► Cameron Maybin (thumb) continues to do outfield work, catching balls with his sprained left thumb. Ausmus said he expects Maybin to begin hitting soon, though Maybin said he did not take any swings in the cage on Tuesday.

► Nick Castellanos (hand) has not been cleared for any baseball activities. He is primarily doing conditioning work.

► Justin Wilson (elbow) told Ausmus that he was ready to pitch and was expected to be available for use on Wednesday.

Around the horn

…Left-handed hitting Tyler Collins got the start in center field against left-hander Danny Duffy Tuesday. The reason, with Duffy facing Justin Verlander, it was likely to be a low-scoring game and defense would be at a premium. “Having one left-handed hitter in the lineup is OK,” Ausmus said. “And it’s a big center field.”

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