Galarraga ready to be Cabrera's mentor
Big Cat assisting in first baseman's recovery process
MARGARITA ISLAND, Venezuela -- The Big Cat could be joining the Tigers soon.
Andres Galarraga will likely join Detroit during Spring Training to serve as a mentor to Miguel Cabrera, the former Major Leaguer told the Venezuelan Web site Panorama.com.
Cabrera made headlines last October when he was taken into police custody but not charged following an incident with his wife in suburban Detroit that left him with scratches and bruises on his face. The Tigers infielder has undergone counseling to deal with his alcohol issues, and said he has not had a drink since the end of last season.
"Detroit wants me to be with Miguel during Spring Training and that's where we are," said Galarraga, who was at the Caribbean Series working as a broadcaster for Venezuelan television. "If it's for Spring Training, I think I will accept, but if it's for the season, I don't want to be away from my home for eight months. I hope they accept that it's only for Spring Training because to be there for six weeks is perfect."
As a coach for Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic, Galarraga worked with Cabrera on the transition from third base to first base. He also served as a mentor during the tournament.
"Maybe it's one of those things that Miguel is interested in me continuing to help him," Galarraga said. "It seems [general manager] Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland think it's a good idea."
Galarraga believes he can be a good influence on Cabrera.
"Miguelito is preparing himself. After the rehabilitation, he's coming in the best condition," he said. "Miguelito has been a superstar since he started and now he's prepared mentally and physically. I believe he's going to have an explosive year."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.