Tigers slugger Cabrera feeling fresh for 2014

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 18, 2014 at 3:31 pm •  Published: February 18, 2014
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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Miguel Cabrera had already been in camp for a few days when he really caught the eye of new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.

At 8 a.m. on the first official reporting date for Detroit's position players, well before team meetings and an extra-long workout, Cabrera was sweating after hitting in the batting cage.

The two-time AL MVP has been energetic since his arrival and is looking forward to being healthy after a core abdomen injury bothered him down the stretch and throughout postseason. It is the same injury that has the Tigers taking it easy with starting pitcher Justin Verlander.

Cabrera said he feels fine and doesn't plan to take any extra precautions this spring.

"Right now I feel healthy, I feel more fresh, and I'm trying to be 100 percent by the season," Cabrera said. "I feel good and I am ready to play."

Cabrera backed up his Triple Crown season of 2012 by hitting a league-high .348 with 44 homers and 137 RBIs in 2013.

This year, Cabrera has a chance at even bigger numbers since he is moving back to first base, where he is more comfortable, after the Tigers traded Prince Fielder.

Cabrera played mostly third base the past two seasons, and new first base coach Omar Vizquel, who is also working with the infielders, said he is going to leave Cabrera alone.

"Miggy knows what he's doing," Vizquel said. "I might point out some things the first week, but after that I can leave him alone."

Cabrera said he felt at home back at first base. The Tigers have struggled defensively at the corners the past two seasons, but with young Nick Castellanos taking over at third and the sure-handed Jose Iglesias at shortstop, the Tigers have fortified the defense significantly.

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