OT: Cabby is prepared to field the hot corner

Submitted by Moleskyn on January 25th, 2012 at 5:10 PM

According to ESPN, Cabrera says he is prepared to play third for the Tigers:

"It was something we were talking (about at the Tigers') fan fest (last week). Return to third base, that is my natural position," Cabrera told Lider en Deportes. "Fielder's arrival will benefit us."

Also, BYB posted this picture of Cabby earlier today:

Not lookin' too bad. Maybe he's decided to take conditioning seriously?

Comments

Sambojangles

January 25th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

That's great and all, but really not necessary until 2013. Cabby and Prince can share 1B/DH this year.

Note: I just remembered interleague play. Miggy should probably start practicing and conditioning for going back for at least those games.

david from wyoming

January 25th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

Why? Leyland can, and will, work matchups so Fielder can DH, Cabrera can play 1st and someone else can play 3b when Porcello is pitching. But when Justin is pitching, do you really need a lot of range in the infield?

Two Hearted Ale

January 25th, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

In my estimation, swapping in Fielder for Cabrera at 1B is net neutral or at worse slightly negative but swapping Cabrera for Inge at 3B is a huge net positive. Cabrera is a pretty good Fielder though he certainly doesn't have the range of Inge. What he lacks in range he makes up for times ten by batting .100 better...with power.

MH20

January 25th, 2012 at 7:07 PM ^

And that was also four years ago when Miguel wasn't in the best of shape.  I'd say he's in better shape now and actually played a halfway decent first base over the past two seasons.

And really, he can't be worse than Betemit was at 3rd.

LSAClassOf2000

January 25th, 2012 at 5:49 PM ^

If Illitch is willing to pony up a little more, we could possibly get a shortstop with decent range (even one with a relatively microscopic BA, because you have a lineup where you can hide this) and make up for the sacrifice in range with Cabrera at 3B, and that lets you move Peralta to 2B potentially. I like the idea of having him available to play there, at the very least.

The larger point is that acquiring Fielder and, for the time being, still having Martinez in 2013 has given them options, of if nothing else, a year to resolve other things and do so well, if they choose. Clearly, they're willing to go Yankees on baseball, something that I think many people probably didn't expect from Illitch, and I like that. 

TyrannousLex

January 26th, 2012 at 6:53 AM ^

I don't know that i'd say Ilitch went Yankees. There was, iirc, $23M coming off the payroll with the departures of Ordonez and Guillen. (There may have been more shed from old contracts too.) They gave Valverde and probably Young moderate raises in arbitration.

There was always the assumption that they'd spend. With no outstanding 3B FA's out there that were no brainers, the conventional wisdom was that they'd probably spend on a veteran starter with a short contract. The Tigers will probably end up fielding this team for roughly the same payroll as last year's team which was, iirc, somewhere around the 8th highest. Less than the White Sox.

Peralta really likes SS, though i agree with you and would simply play Santiago as the everyday SS and Peralta at 2B. Ramon's a fine ball player with excellent defensive skills.

Bluemandew

January 25th, 2012 at 5:49 PM ^

I am drawing a blank on where  I read this but the article was reporting that career wise Inge has a 960 fielding percentage at third and Cabby has a 951. So while it is a drop off it is not huge.   Inge also has a a lot more games at third than Cabby so you have to factor that in.

Bluemandew

January 25th, 2012 at 6:27 PM ^

Your right fielding percentage is not the entire picture. But it is part of it.  While Cabrera is bigger and that's a major concern he has been improving his defence at first. The one big problem with him at first base has been him trying to range to far from the base and not being able to cover the bag. Hopefully he can turn this into a asset at third where he wont be responsable for covering the bag as at first.

ChuckieWoodson

January 25th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

made some really big stops at first this year.  This was the first year in a long time I watched a lot of Tigers game's and I remember him being really agile for a big man.  Some people were suggesting we put Inge over at SS - I'm not totally opposed but his bat is horrendous.  Personally, I'm excited for this year - but REALLY juiced for 2013 - get V mart back in the lineup and maybe add someone strong up at the top of the order? Whooooaaa nellie!

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

January 25th, 2012 at 10:17 PM ^

Why not just play Inge at second base?  Peralta's range is not stellar, but he handles most everything inside of it, so I'm not upset with his fielding.  Inge's athleticism would be better than Peralta's for turning DPs, and his hitting can't be worse than Raburn's April/May offerings.

budeye

January 26th, 2012 at 4:59 AM ^

winner-winner-chicken-dinner.

moving inge to 2nd would be the smartest move.  i know he can't hit his way out of a papper bag, but he came through in the playoffs, again.   besides the skipper will probably be having inge on sunday day games following sat night games to give avila a rest.

what is the before/after on when irrational fan calls-in, emails, posts to have the skipper fired because the tigers are not in 1st or when they have their first losing streak?

TyrannousLex

January 26th, 2012 at 6:57 AM ^

I like the guy and all, but i'd play Santiago every day at either SS or 2B and spell him with Inge. Switch hitter, decent power and an excellent defensive ball player. Tigers management worries that he can't handle everday play without a drop-off at the plate, but they've never tried it.

ChuckieWoodson

January 25th, 2012 at 6:09 PM ^

made some really big stops at first this year.  This was the first year in a long time I watched a lot of Tigers game's and I remember him being really agile for a big man.  Some people were suggesting we put Inge over at SS - I'm not totally opposed but his bat is horrendous.  Personally, I'm excited for this year - but REALLY juiced for 2013 - get V mart back in the lineup and maybe add someone strong up at the top of the order? Whooooaaa nellie!

(Gah, stupid internet explorer at work - sorry for double post)

NateVolk

January 25th, 2012 at 6:00 PM ^

The issue is range. Cabrera is fine for first because at first you aren't asked to do much. People who think 3rd is similar need to go pick up a mit, try playing the game,  and drop the fantasy teams. It is going to be epically bad down there and just know that other teams are laughing at the notion Cabrera will play third regularly. He won't. Bank on that.

Blue boy johnson

January 25th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

I wouldn't be surprised if VMart plays third because I think Cabby is just too damn big too play the hot corner. I don't like the idea of either of them at 3rd, but I suspect Victor might be as capable as Miggy.

david from wyoming

January 25th, 2012 at 7:22 PM ^

Have YOU seen Cabrera? If not, there is a picture of him on the top of the thread. He has lost a lot of weight this off season. Kevin Youkilis isn't the most slender guy out there and his weight is comparable to Cabrera's, if you consider the fact that Cabrera has ~4 inches of height on Youkilis.

Cabrera was asked about playing third before Fielder was signed and agreed to it, according to reports. This isn't a pipe dream gordie bell.

denardogasm

January 25th, 2012 at 6:43 PM ^

I was actually thinking why not try VMart at first when he's back and let Fielder DH with Miggy at 3rd? That's assuming he's still good at third and VMart can play first, but that's generally where catchers go at the end of their careers.  Fielder should not be in the field. Which brings up another point- If Fielder ends up being a DH, he has 4-5 at bats a game, and thus is making 200 mil to essentially do 10 minutes of work a day (maybe less than 5 some days) for the next 9 years... wow.