03/20/12 1:35 PM ET
Miggy has orbital fracture; hopeful for opener
New sunglasses helped Tigers star avoid more serious injury
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
At this point, Cabrera is hopeful that he'll be ready for Opening Day, and Dombrowski indicated that the Tigers aren't considering Cabrera as a possibility for the disabled list.
"I have a lot of confidence," Cabrera said. "Hopefully everything is going to be OK. Hopefully I'll be ready to open the season. I feel good right now, and my eye's feeling good."
It's a much better scenario than what was feared when Cabrera took Hunter Pence's high-hopper off his sunglasses in the first inning of Monday's game against the Phillies in Clearwater.
"I don't think there's any question that his sunglasses helped him a great deal yesterday," Dombrowski said. "Who knows what would've happened yesterday if he didn't have the sunglasses on, because you could see the imprint of the baseball on his sunglasses, the seams on there."
Cabrera, this time wearing off-field sunglasses covering the eight stitches he received to close a gash under his right eye, said Tuesday morning that he wasn't in any pain. He said Monday was one of the first times he had played the infield with the sunglasses, which he donned at the recommendation of teammate Ramon Santiago.
"I asked him why he wears glasses to hit," Cabrera said. "He said he can see a ball better [with them]. And I was like, 'OK, I'm going to start trying them out.'"
His first pair of sports sunglasses arrived a few days ago.
"That's the first time I wear glasses to go into the field and hitting, too," he said. "I'm lucky, man. I'm so glad I started using the glasses."
The injury happened Monday with one out in the bottom of the first inning, with the Tigers holding a 1-0 lead. Pence hit the ball hard to the left side, where it took an unusually high hop off the dirt.
"He hit the ball hard, very hard," Cabrera said. "It hit a bad, bad bounce. It was right there. I was less than one second from catching the ball and [throwing]. It was so quick."
The hot, sunny day likely contributed to the hard infield, catcher Alex Avila said.
"The hop, it was scary to see, because he had it," Avila said. "It hit the dirt and it went straight up. You don't see hops like that on a big league field. It was just a freak thing."
Cabrera said he had seen a couple balls take unusual bounces while taking ground balls in pregame batting practice. However, he didn't want to blame what happened on the field conditions.
"Most of the time when you play the game and they don't put a lot of water on the field it's going to happen, a bad hop. But you don't want to blame anybody," Cabrera said. "That's part of the game. That's nobody's fault."
Cabrera underwent a battery of tests Monday at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, and again on Tuesday morning at Watson Clinic in Lakeland. X-rays revealed the fracture.
Cabrera said he plans to rest for the next few days while the swelling goes down in hopes of being ready to play as soon as possible once he's re-evaluated next week.
"I don't know what's going to happen in [that time frame], but they know exactly what [the injury] is," Dombrowski said. "Now it's just a matter of letting it heal properly. But we'll know a lot more in a week than we know at this point.
"The one thing we don't want him doing is any sort of activity at all other than walking. No bouncing, no anything."
Audy Ciriaco replaced Cabrera at third base Monday, and Danny Worth started at third in Cabrera's place Tuesday against the Braves. Manager Jim Leyland referred questions about Cabrera's situation to Dombrowski and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand, but indicated they had plenty of infielders in camp to fill in.