Tigers: Miguel Cabrera’s back is ‘fine’

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — Reports out of San Diego are cautiously optimistic regarding the health of Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

“I got a text from Omar (Vizquel),” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He just said Miggy’s back tightened up on him. He’s fine.”

Cabrera came out of Team Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic loss to the Dominican Republic in the sixth inning Thursday. It remains uncertain whether Cabrera will play Saturday against Puerto Rico. The Venezuelans are 0-2 and on the brink of elimination.

“Miggy knows himself,” Ausmus said. “I’m not worried about that. Although at this point I don’t know how much that game means. But Miggy is pretty good at self-monitoring. It’s something he’s had before. There have been times he’s played with it and times when he’s been held out because of it.”

Vizquel, Venezuela’s manager and Tigers first-base coach, told the Associated Press Thursday night that Cabrera has a history of playing through pain.

“His waist is still hurting, but he’s a warrior,” Vizquel said “Hopefully, tomorrow, he’ll be recuperating, and hopefully he’ll wake up relaxed. And obviously, if he’s doing well by Saturday, well, logically we’re going to include him.

“He’s the captain of the team.”

Ausmus, who battled back pain for 12 years in his playing career and ultimately needed surgery, said Cabrera likely will have to monitor and treat his back issues throughout the season.

“Generally, back problems are recurring,” Ausmus said. “It certainly would not shock me if it was something he’d have to deal with on an ongoing basis.”