There had been no progress to report on Miguel Cabrera since he went on the disabled list on July 4 with a Grade 3 left calf strain. That was, until Friday. Cabrera was seen taking throws at first base, and later taking swings in the cage at Fenway Park, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News. It's been about three weeks since Cabrera was injured, so while it's small progress, it's still good news.
It was noted that Cabrera wasn't taking full swings, but he was at least swinging away in the cage. Earlier in the day McCosky noted that Cabrera hadn't yet been cleared for baseball activities, but that appears to have changed as Cabrera is participating in at least some.
The Detroit Tigers are in Boston to begin a three-series road trip that will extend past the July 31 trading deadline. On Wednesday when the team was still home in Detroit, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Cabrera would travel with the team, but he wouldn't be playing. That will undoubtedly not change, though Cabrera said he would rather let his body be the judge.
"I want to say my body will tell me," Cabrera told McCosky. "Hopefully I can make good progress. I don't want to say six weeks or eight weeks. I want to see how it feels every day and when I am ready to play I want to say, ‘I'm ready to go.' That's my mind(set). These injuries can take a long time. Hopefully it can be soon."
Cabrera has been seen around the clubhouse on multiple occasions following his injury, as he underwent treatment in Detroit. The Tigers wanted him to travel with the team, so they could keep an eye on his progress and continue to administer treatment as necessary.
Also, Cabrera admits that it's not easy being away from the team, and he made it a point that he'd rather be with the team despite the DL stint. Cabrera has been active on Twitter during his time away from the field as a means to stay connected. Friday marked the first time that Cabrera had talked about his injury, commenting on what it felt like when the injury happened.
"When I went to second, it seemed like somebody shot me," he said. "I knew something was wrong. When they put me on the DL, I was not surprised because I knew it wasn't right."
It was apparent just how serious he thought it was at the time, immediately calling for trainers when Cabrera pulled up suddenly when trying to take second base that afternoon. He also admitted that the previous injury to his ankle taught him just how important it was that he take care of himself first.
That says something coming from the man who never comes out of a game for anything, including when he played on a bad leg in the 2013 season, and the fractured ankle last year. That doesn't mean Cabrera isn't itching to get back on the field -- he is -- but if these injuries have taught him anything, it's that sometimes it's better to be safe than sorry.
"I wanted to be here," he said. "I want to play. I want to be on the field. If I stay home, it's hard to stay positive. This is my job. This is what I love. I want to be here. I want to play, man. I miss playing."