DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera doesn't like to serve as a designated hitter unless he has to. On Friday, with his sore right ankle wrapped, he had to.
"The [head athletic] trainer suggested I DH him tonight," manager Jim Leyland said, "so I DH'ed him."
Cabrera homered in the eighth inning, plating the sole run in the Tigers' 2-1 loss to the Angels.
Neither Leyland nor Cabrera knows how long Cabrera will have to start at DH. Cabrera suggested that "maybe" he'll be able to play third base on Saturday, saying that his ankle is much better on Friday then it was when he had to leave Thursday's game. However, he was noticeably slowed on his sixth-inning double.
"I'm concerned about it," Leyland said after the game. "Watching him tonight obviously he looked good at the plate, but the way he moved around, certainly you'd have to say there's some question. So we'll just have to wait and see."
This isn't the same ankle that bothered him for a few weeks earlier in the season. That was the left ankle, and that doesn't appear to be as big of an issue as it was. Still, all the minor injuries are enough for Leyland to at least mention the possibility that he'll give Cabrera a day off sometime soon.
Leyland saying that might have been at least a bit self-serving, potentially softening the reaction of fans if it happens, but nonetheless, it might have been a warning.
"You know what? That would be good for a controversial discussion," Leyland said on Thursday. "If I give him a day off and I rest him, everybody will say, 'How can you do that in a pennant race?' But you know what? If I have to do it, I have to do it. And I don't know that I'll have to do it.
"I'm not going to do anything stupid. I mean, look at the lineups. Look at them all over baseball. Guys get days off. If you have to give a guy a day off, I mean, I'm not going to put a guy out there that's hurt and can't perform. If it means [giving] him a day, if it means two days, you give it until the kid's right."