Cabrera Takes Grounder To The Face

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera had a scary moment Monday.

Cabrera left Monday's 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies with a bloody face after a hard grounder from Hunter Pence hit Detroit's six-time All-Star near the right eye.

Cabrera was taken to a hospital to receive stitches and get precautionary X-rays.

"We don't have any information," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, repeating that answer several times.

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Cabrera was wearing sunglasses, and it's uncertain whether the wicked one-hopper hit the right lens or just under it. He wiped blood off with his hand and held a towel to his face as he walked off the field.

"It swelled up," Leyland said. "Basically he looked like a fighter that needed a cut man and wasn't doing any good in the fight."

Cabrera's head snapped back as the ball shot up. He stayed on his feet, but seemed dazed.

Cabrera is making the transition back to third base this spring because Detroit signed first baseman Prince Fielder. Even a Gold Glove third baseman would've likely been hit by Pence's shot.

"He'd be in the same place as Cabrera, getting stitches," Leyland said when asked whether anyone else would have had a chance to make that play.

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Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona concurred.

"You're going to pick up the paper tomorrow and read that Cabrera can't play third base," Francona said on ESPN's broadcast. "But that ball hits every third baseman in the majors in the face."

Cabrera hasn't played third base regularly since 2007 with Florida. He started 14 games there in 2008, and hasn't made an appearance at third in the last three seasons.

One bad hop isn't going to make Leyland change his mind about the risky move.

"He's doing real good. He's doing fine," Leyland said. "Watch him play, write what you want, give your opinion what you think. He's doing great at third base. Is he going to make plays like Brooks Robinson? For the 100th time this spring? No. Is he going to catch the routine plays, is he going to throw it accurately with one of the better arms in the league? Yes. Is he going to hit a lot of home runs and knock in a lot of runs? Yes. He's our third baseman."

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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