The Cleveland Indians were unsure if shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera would be able to suit up for Opening Day after he was taken out of the lineup a week ago with a sore back. However, Cabrera returned to the lineup Saturday afternoon and appears ready to go when the Indians kick off the season on April 2.
Cabrera injured his back when he was taking practice in the cages before last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. After a week of solid rest, the Indians felt Cabrera was healthy enough to field his position.
Considering the Indians will not play their first game of the 2013 Major League Baseball season until Tuesday, the extra day of rest certainly increases Cabrera’s odds of playing.
“Yeah, he’s fine,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona told Indians.com. “He had five or six at-bats and actually wound up playing shortstop yesterday. So, he’s also fine for Tuesday. I gave him the option to DH today, but he wanted to play [shortstop] so he’s good. I don’t think there was ever a concern about him getting ready to play. It was just getting him enough at-bats where he could shake some rust off.”
The 27-year-old batted .273 with one home run, seven RBI, three doubles, one triple and two stolen bases in 33 at-bats this spring.
Cabrera has stepped up the power numbers in recent years in which he batted .270 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI and 35 doubles in 555 at-bats last season. This is good production from the No. 2 hitter in the batting order, and it is critical he can improve on these statistics in 2013.
Cleveland will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the first series of the season.