Blog Entry

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

Posted on: March 4, 2012 3:12 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 3:22 pm
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Some might say Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera is heroic, generous or at the very least team-oriented for giving up first base at a moment's notice and moving to third so the team could sign top free agent Prince Fielder. Not Cabrera, who doesn't see it that way.

"I never had a position, so what's the difference?'' Cabrera said, applying sound logic.

Cabrera actually came to Detroit as a third baseman but was soon switched to first base, where Carlos Guillen was struggling with the nuances of that position. Now Cabrera is going back to third. No matter what happens here -- and he's off to a slow start, with an error here Sunday -- he's the third baseman.

"I feel good [about it],'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "He's my third baseman, I like writing his name into the lineup every day. It is what it is.''

What it appears to be is an interesting little imperfection for us to write about on an otherwise superior Tigers team. And it probably is pretty small in the scheme of things. Cabrera has excellent hands and a true arm.

The only issue is his movement, which is undeniably limited. Cabrera was slow going to his left to try to field a grounder by the Braves' David Ross on Sunday, and he wound up booting the ball -- appearing to strain to bend over.

Cabrera joked before the game that he is 330 pounds; he actually is about average for him, somewhere in the high 200s. The Tigers do not seem at all displeased by his shape, round but reasonable.

Cabrera may seem young, but he works hard and he has veteran infielder Rafael Belliard here to work on his technique with him.

"I need to work on it every day. I need to work hard,'' Cabrera said.

The main thing, Belliard said, is to be ready. The ball gets to a third baseman faster than anywhere else on the diamond. Belliard pointed out Cabrera played shortstop at one point, but conceded that was a long time ago. It's even been a couple years for third base. It's a good thing they have all spring.

"We're not asking him to win a Gold Glove,'' Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said.

Even if he can't come close to major-league average even after a long spring of grounders, he's not coming out of games for defense late in games.

"He's a star. I'm not taking my star out,'' Leyland said. "I think that would send the wrong message to Miguel Cabrera, and I'm not doing it.''

More than anyone, Leyland understands the psyche of his players and the importance of it vs. an inning or two of slightly improved defense. That's the right call.

Dombrowski pointed out that Cabrera volunteered to play third base in interleague games last year, and he would have played third in National League cities had they made the World Series. Cabrera has a ways to go to become proficient again. But at least he is willing. That's maybe half the battle.


Since: Jul 11, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:53 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

i can tell you're a yankee fan. he actually did move to 1st because of guillen and his crappy d. plus they had the all mighty brandon inge to step in at 3rd. that last part was 100% sarcasm

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:33 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

I can't tell if Heyman is delusional, or he's trying really hard to sugar coat this.

Cabrera wasn't switched to first base because Guillen couldn't handle first. He was switched because he was a butcher at 3rd. Lol at his "excellent hands and true arm"   

Since: Sep 1, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:16 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

A drag bunt refers to a left handed batter bunting down the first base line idiot

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:05 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

The good thing for Detroit is all they need is a good Defensive 3rd bagger.  Between Reps at 1st and DH Prince and Cabrera, (3rd as well) will see full time at bats and Less wear and tear.

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:13 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

It has only been 3 games and plus if they beat teams 18-3 like they did today, I can live with an error or two.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2012 5:33 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

this idea was doomed from the start

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:58 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

The fear seems to be the limited range of the nTiger infield. What I dont understand is why then if Brandon Inge is going to be a part of the infield wouldn't they play him at SS. It seems a waste to put a weak hitter at 2nd base when there are other options there with stronger bats. Inge has better range than Jhonny Peralta and a strong arm. Jhonny would move to 2nd base and that might help shore things up...

Since: Aug 13, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:54 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

If I were a leadoff batter in the AL Central, I would be working hard on my drag bunting this spring.  One of the toughest things for Cabrera is going to be his mobility and how he can throw on the run.  I would test him every single game with a bunt until he proves he can consistently field his position.  If nothing else, you bring him in closer and limit his range even further.

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:40 pm

Cabrera has right attitude at 3B but needs work

It will be a love hate relationship with him at 3rd all year until he gets comfortable with playing the new/old position. Hopefully he will get a little better after playing it for awhile and get a little more used to it and where to stand etc. with more playing time, this is the first time he has played it since 07 if i remember correctly. They say he has been working hard and has lost about 25 lbs. so hope that helps him get off his first step. So we will have to see how it plays out more to really give it a grade on his skills at 3rd but i wish they would get a speedier left fielder to help cabrerea on 3rd, because young has NO range and that could turn sinlges into doubles if it does get pass cabby at 3rd and young has to chase it down because he plays so far back in the outfiled because he cant run backwards. So we will see, Go Tigers!!!

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