Now he knows why third base is called the hot corner.
Cabrera immediately touched his hand to his face and found blood pouring out from just below his right eye. The Tigers trainer ran over to clean up the mess, and Cabrera was taken out of the game. He was replaced by infielder Audy Ciriaco.
The reigning AL batting champion had lost about 25 pounds in order to be ready for the switch to third this season, and even stole a base in the top of the first before he left the game in the bottom half of the inning. He looks like he is in much better shape, and has truly taken is upon himself to become at least an average defender at third.
It looks as though Cabrera's sunglasses protected his eye while causing the cut on his cheek. Blood was pouring out of his face, and he was taken to a local hospital for stitches and precautionary X-rays. It was found that he has a small fracture in the bone beneath his right eye, and according to ESPN.com, will be sidelined for a couple weeks.
Former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona, who was announcing the game, had this to say about the play:
"Tomorrow, you're going to pick up a paper and read about his lack of ability to play third base. Every third baseman in league gets hit by that ball."
It looked like a tough hop that caught Cabrera, but it has yet to be seen that he can handle third base effectively. Until then, people will talk about this play being a result of his inability to field the position.
Cabrera last played third base in a regular season game in the 2008 season with Detroit. He appeared in just 14 games at the position until he was moved over to first base for good until this season.
Cabrera was never even an average defender at the hot corner when he played there in the beginning part of his career with the Marlins, but Jim Leyland hopes that the offensive productivity of Fielder and Cabrera can counter their defensive woes.
Though Miguel Cabrera may be in the race for AL MVP, he may also be one of the worst fielders in baseball at his position.
It should be an interesting year for Cabrera and his defense in 2012.