DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) - Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera may play his first spring game Monday against the New York Yankees following his Feb. 16 arrest on a charge of drunk driving.
``He will not play (Sunday),' manager Jim Leyland said. ``Monday's more a possibility but I'm not sure about Monday, either,' Leyland said before the Tigers shut out the Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 in the team's spring training opener Saturday behind starting left-hander Phil Coke.
Leyland said Cabrera had an ``excellent' workout Saturday under first base coach Tom Brookens' guidance at the Tigers' spring camp in Lakeland, Fla., but, ``truth be told, I don't want to get second-guessed (about playing Cabrera too soon).'
``I'm not going to put him out there for one day and do something crazy,' Leyland added.
Leyland said he will meet with Cabrera, head trainer Kevin Rand and strength and conditioning coordinator Javair Gillett before making a final decision on when to put Cabrera in the lineup. Cabrera came in second in AL MVP voting last season after batting .328 with 38 home runs and a league-leading 126 runs batted in.
He was arrested in Fort Pierce, Fla., about 110 miles from Lakeland. Police said they approached Cabrera's car, broken down on the side of the road, and smelled alcohol on his breath, and that he took a gulp from a bottle of scotch in front of an officer.
Coke is projected as a starter this season after making his only start in his three previous seasons, the Tigers' last game of 2010.
``I feel like I'm on the right road; I feel I'm not far off right now,' he said.
He didn't miss the plate with any of his nine pitches over two innings, allowing one of Toronto's five hits.
``He went after them real good,' Leyland said. ``They hit a couple of balls on the nose and they also mis-hit quite a few. That was good to see.
``Other than that, it was his first outing. I'm not going to get excited about any of 'em, bad or good, the first outing. They all did fine today, obviously. For the most part they threw strikes and put the ball in play.'
Brandon Inge doubled and scored in the second inning off Bret Cecil and Scott Sizemore hit a two-run double off Jesse Carlson in the fifth.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out in the fifth before Alberto Albuquerque struck out Jose Bautista and got Adam Lind on a fly ball.
``Very impressive, but I wouldn't want to put myself in that situation too many times,' Leyland said.
Notes: Toronto left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer are scheduled to start Sunday in Lakeland.
The Associated Press News Service
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