Miguel Cabrera to miss at least 8 games with groin strain

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Minneapolis – J.D. Martinez. Jose Iglesias. And now, Miguel Cabrera.

The disabled list grows for the Tigers.

Cabrera, after an MRI on his strained right groin Saturday morning, was placed on the 10-day DL. John Hicks, a catcher and first baseman, was recalled from Toledo. The results of the MRI showed it was a Grade 1-plus strain (between a Grade 1 and a Grade 2).

But even before the MRI was taken, manager Brad Ausmus ruled Cabrera out for the rest of this series against the Twins.

“He’s definitely not going to play today,” Ausmus said. “He won’t play (in this series) at all. The MRI will determine whether we have to DL him or not.”

Cabrera strained his right groin in the sixth inning of the 6-3 loss to the Twins Friday night.

The DL stint will be retroactive to Friday. So, with an off-day Monday, Cabrera will miss at least eight games.

Hicks got the call at 12:30 a.m. Saturday morning. He was asleep in his hotel room in Lehigh, Pa., where the Mud Hens were playing.

“I didn’t know what was going on at first,” he said. “It was (manager) Mike Rojas. He told me, ‘You’re going up, but we’re not really sure what’s going to happen or where you are going to be playing.’”

Didn’t matter. He was up at 3:45 a.m. and boarded a small, 13-seat plane to Minneapolis.

“They will tell me where to go and I will be there,” he said.

Hicks, a right-handed hitter, is a catcher by trade, but he started at first base against the Twins and lefty Adalberto Mejia on Saturday. Ironically, it was almost a year ago to the day (April 23, 2016) that Hicks was released by the Twins and signed by the Tigers.

“He didn’t have any reps at first base in the spring, but he’s played there some,” Ausmus said.

Hicks was recalled, largely, because of how well he’d been hitting. He was hitting .424 at Toledo, with a .606 slugging percentage and 1.018 OPS. He had 12 RBIs.

“I’ve been seeing the ball well and swinging it well,” Hicks said. “We’ve been playing well as a team, too, winning a lot of games. I hope I can do that up here.”

Had the Tigers been facing a right-handed pitcher Saturday, veteran Efren Navarro might have gotten the call. He’s hitting .395 with a 1.029 OPS at Toledo. Left-handed hitting James Loney, recently assigned to Toledo, has only played in two games.

Clearly, though, if Cabrera’s injury is deemed more severe, one of those two veterans could be in play.

Twitter @cmccosky