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Detroit Tigers News: Miguel Cabrera is taking batting practice again

Cabrera still isn’t quite ready to return, but Jeimer Candelario could be back this week.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have been battered by injuries recently, but might start to get healthy soon. Among the updates provided to reporters on Monday was the news that Miguel Cabrera took batting practice in Minnesota. While there was no specific update given on his status, the fact that Cabrera is taking swings again is an encouraging sign. He has been on the disabled list since May 4 with a hamstring injury, but could be ready to return fairly soon.

Also on the mend is Jeimer Candelario, who took ground balls at third base on Monday. Candelario is eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, but might be sent on a rehab assignment before he is activated. Assuming his wrist doesn’t flare up in the coming days, he should be back sometime this week. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire just wants to see Candelario in some game action first.

“I just talked to him in the batting cage. He’s smiling. He doesn’t feel anything,” Gardenhire said. “The smart thing might be to let him get into some real action rather than just BP and take a few swings before we activate him.”

Pitchers Alex Wilson and Jordan Zimmermann were also mentioned. Wilson still can’t run after snapping the plantar fascia in his left foot last week, and Zimmermann will still be out for a couple more weeks; even if he gets back to game action soon, the team will send him out on a lengthy rehab assignment to rebuild his stamina.

I don’t buy the draft drama

If you take the Tigers front office at their word, they have not yet decided on who they will take with the No. 1 pick in June’s MLB draft. We’re not buying what they, or those in close proximity with the front office, are selling.

“Undisclosed reasons” sounds a lot like “Casey Mize is asking for a bunch of money because he’s the best player in the class.” This is how draft negotiations go, though. The team with the No. 1 pick wants to create an air of mystery so as to keep bonus demands as low as possible. That doesn’t seem to be working quite as well with Mize, who has elevated himself above the rest of his draft class. But I don’t believe for a second that this will deter Detroit from taking him on June 4.

Let’s talk about Francisco Liriano trade rumors again

On Monday, John dove into what Francisco Liriano’s Sunday start did for his trade value. Others, including USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, have taken notice.

As Anthony Fenech of the Free Press noted, the Tigers might have to shop Liriano aggressively if they want to beat the deadline rush; there are likely to be a number of sellers this summer, which could create a buyer’s market if Detroit doesn’t move early.

Zack Cozart is wrong about the Rays’ “Opener” strategy

In case you missed it, the Tampa Bay Rays used reliever Sergio Romo as their starter on both Saturday and Sunday. Romo, a righty specialist of sorts, was tasked with getting through the top of the Los Angeles Angels’ batting order before turning the game over to an actual starter-ish pitcher. The strategy worked; Romo struck out six in 2 13 scoreless innings across the two games, and Tampa won three of four.

But a lot of people didn’t like it. Zack Cozart, L.A.’s leadoff hitter, was most critical, saying “I don’t think it’s good for baseball.” While there could certainly be consequences if this strategy catches on, I love Tampa’s outside-the-box thinking here. It doesn’t seem to be something that will catch on like wildfire (or shifting, more accurately), and offers another neat little wrinkle to the game we love,

Baseball is awesome

Juan Soto is younger than Google. And he just hit his first big league home run on Monday.

The best part? This celebration from the Nationals’ Dominican academy.