Cabrera may make his spring debut Monday

Cabrera may make his spring debut Monday

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's swing looked like it was ready for games when he took his first batting practice Friday. Come Monday, he might well get his shot.

Monday is when Cabrera starts to stand a chance of making his Spring Training debut. It'll be a 1:05 p.m. ET home game against the Yankees, and it'll be after three days of workouts.

"Monday's more of a possibility [than Sunday]," manager Jim Leyland said. "But I'm not assuring you of Monday, either.

Cabrera did not accompany the Tigers to Dunedin for their Grapefruit League opener against the Blue Jays on Saturday. He stayed back at Joker Marchant Stadium for a day of hitting work under coach Lloyd McClendon.

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But Cabrera's swing isn't Leyland's concern. He's worried about the slugger's legs and getting them ready for game action.

"Truth be known, if I wasn't going to get second-guessed until the cows come home, I'd have played him today," Leyland said. "His bat might be a little slow, but you watch him take BP [Friday and he's ready]. I'm worried more about legs. He's worked his tail off in the offseason with agility and strength, but at the same time, it goes back to what I always say: That doesn't always correlate with baseball conditioning.

"I mean, if you want to say I'm protecting myself, I am. I'm not going to put him out there today and do some crazy. And I'm going to kind of get a feel from a bunch of people."