Ausmus had been hoping to use the weekend series to give Cabrera some games at designated hitter, but he is expected to miss at least the next couple days after suffering a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique before Wednesday’s win over the Orioles. Cabrera is not expected to require a stint on the disabled list, though the Tigers could wait until Saturday to backdate such a move and have him back next weekend if the prognosis worsens.
If Cabrera and Martinez are both out, the Tigers will have some lineup shuffling to do. Alex Avila started at first base on Wednesday before getting behind the plate for Thursday’s series finale. Andrew Romine started at first base Thursday. Jim Adduci is capable of playing first base, but he’s on the 10-day DL with a right oblique strain.
As for filling Martinez’s void, the Tigers have limited options. Their 40-man roster is full, and the only position players at Triple-A Toledo already on there are catcher/first baseman John Hicks and center fielder JaCoby Jones. Hicks filled in surprisingly well for Cabrera while he was on the 10-day DL with a right groin injury last month.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck’s Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.