Cabrera's left hand was in a soft brace Wednesday afternoon. He said the hand remains sore around the base of his left thumb, where Junichi Tazawa's fastball hit him in the first inning Tuesday night. Cabrera has trouble swinging, and neither he nor manager Jim Leyland expected him to be available as a pinch-hitter Wednesday night.
With Cabrera not available, Leyland used the chance to get Carlos Guillen back into the field for the first time since he came off the disabled list July 24. Guillen, who missed 2 1/2 months with right shoulder inflammation, started Wednesday at first base, where he hadn't started since April 23, 2008.
Guillen started last season at first, with Cabrera at third, before the two traded places near the end of April. Guillen was moved to left field before this season to ease the wear and tear on his knees. Guillen struggled at times last year with his technique at first base, including a bad habit of sticking his back foot in the basepath, but showed no signs of those struggles Wednesday.
By playing first base, Guillen did not need to make many throws, especially hard throws. That should keep him from abusing his shoulder.
Cabrera has no specific timetable for when he expects to return. If his hand feels better Thursday, he said he'll play. If not, Guillen could be back there. Leyland said Wednesday that Marcus Thames is an emergency option at first, leaving Ryan Raburn as his other spot starter.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.