Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez talk during a spring training workout.LAKELAND, Fla. — Miguel Cabrera met with his Detroit Tigers teammates for the first time this spring and said he felt welcome.
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"I appreciated all that, what they did to me," Cabrera said. "I'm comfortable with these guys. I love these guys. They've always been good to me, so now I've got to do a lot of good things for them. Right now I'm going to prepare very hard and get ready to win games."
Cabrera, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Feb. 16, did not play in the Tigers' 17-5 win over Florida Southern College Friday. Cabrera did some hitting and fielding drills but wasn't available for the game and is not expected to travel to Dunedin, Fla., for Detroit's Grapefruit League opener today against the Toronto Blue Jays.
It isn't known when manager Jim Leyland will put Cabrera into the lineup, and Leyland has dodged most questions about Cabrera. He did say that he expected Cabrera to be in the lineup when the Tigers open the regular season in New York on March 31.
When the slugger who finished second in the AL MVP voting last year after hitting .328 with 38 homers and 126 RBIs spoke with the media Friday, he spoke about his weight, not his pending arraignment on March 16.
"I feel good. Everybody worries about my weight and what I do during the offseason, but right now I feel good," Cabrera said. "I'm not worried about being overweight. I worked hard in the offseason so right now I'm just worried about baseball and getting ready for the season."
Cabrera said he is ready to go and that the Tigers are a formidable team with him surrounded by Victor Martinez and Magglio Ordonez in the lineup.
"If we're healthy, we're going to be very good, very dangerous," Cabrera said. "If our pitchers, our staff, can be healthy, I think we've got a good chance to win. We've got to go out there and compete. All day I saw a lot of good things, so the most important thing is to compete."
The Tigers scored in every inning except the eighth against Florida Southern, a Division II team based in Lakeland, and led 5-0 after three innings.
Top prospects Andrew Oliver and Jacob Turner both pitched two scoreless innings, and Daniel Schlereth, Ryan Perry, and Enrique Gonzalez combined for four more before the Mocs scored five in the ninth.
"We didn't want to score that many runs," Leyland said. "We just couldn't help it."
Brennan Bosch, competing for the starting job in left field, hit a long three-run homer, and Audy Ciriaco added another for the Tigers.
Indians' Crowe has bad shoulder
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Cleveland Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe has soreness in his right rotator cuff, an injury that could cost him a chance to make the opening day roster.
Crowe hasn't been able to participate in workouts and has been working with the team's training staff to strengthen the shoulder. He's competing for a backup spot, but it's unclear when he will be ready to play. The Indians open exhibition play tomorrow against Cincinnati.
"We have to get him healthy," manager Manny Acta said. "We're not going to have him out there until he's 100 percent ready to compete. It's tough for him because he knows he's competing for a spot."
Crowe had surgery on his right elbow in the offseason, but the shoulder began bothering him soon after he reported to camp last week. The switch-hitter batted .251 and stole 20 bases in 122 games last season and was in the lineup on a regular basis after Grady Sizemore injured his knee in May and missed the rest of the season.