LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers decided Miguel Cabrera wasn't quite ready for a return under the television lights Thursday night. But that should be the end of his wait.
With no full batting practice since taking a high hopper to his right eye a week and a half ago, manager Jim Leyland and the team's medical staff decided to give him one more day to catch up to game speed.
Instead, Cabrera will be back in the lineup Friday, when the Tigers visit the Orioles in Sarasota, Leyland said.
"I'll play him the rest of the way out if he's OK," Leyland said.
That would give Cabrera five Grapefruit League games before the Tigers head north, which should allow him time to get his timing back for Opening Day.
Cabrera has missed nine games since the ball in question caused a non-displaced fracture to the orbital floor under his right eye. Doctors cleared him for activity Tuesday after a week of rest, and he began taking ground balls again Wednesday.
Young makes return to Tigers' lineup
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Delmon Young returned to the Tigers' lineup as the designated hitter Thursday night, and manager Jim Leyland said he'll be back in left field on Friday against the Orioles.
With the exception of Saturday's game against the Braves, Young is expected to be in the lineup the rest of the way to get himself ready for Opening Day in a week.
Young hasn't played since leaving Monday's game against the Marlins with soreness in his left knee. He has taken batting practice the last couple days but still needed to get in outfield work.
Whether Young opens the season as the left fielder or designated hitter remains to be seen, but he's likely to see time in both spots over the course of the season. If he's the DH on Opening Day and Ryan Raburn moves to left field, it could open up a spot for another right-handed bat, whether it's Brandon Inge or Danny Worth at second base.
Fister's final spring start scheduled for Sunday
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Doug Fister and his sore right middle finger are good to go for one more start this spring. He's scheduled to return to the Tigers' rotation Sunday against the Astros at Joker Marchant Stadium in what would be his first start since March 23.
Though manager Jim Leyland hasn't announced his rotation order past Justin Verlander, a Sunday assignment for Fister would seemingly put him in line to start the second game of the season against the Red Sox on April 7 at Comerica Park.
Fister was in the midst of a relatively strong spring when he left his last outing against Pittsburgh with one out in the fifth. He has given up three earned runs on 10 hits over 18 1/3 innings with two walks and 16 strikeouts.
Leyland not planning for much running, bunting
LAKELAND, Fla. -- With Spring Training in the home stretch and the roster close to final, Tigers manager Jim Leyland has begun his late-spring ritual of setting signs, putting on baserunning and bunt calls and going through one more set of fundamental drills.
Bunting and baserunning are things Leyland waits until the final days to do. He doesn't call for many steals or hit-and-runs early, because he wants guys to get their requisite at-bats each day without running them out of innings. Now that starters are playing seven innings or so a game, those at-bats are easier to find.
That said, don't expect them to go speeding around the bases before heading north.
"If we hit like we're capable of hitting, we're not going to do much [running and bunting]," he said. "That's just the way it is. ... I'm going to manage the team I've got. I'm not going to bunt just because some coach in Sterling Heights thinks I should bunt."
Former Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe has been named as Fox Sports Detroit's new studio analyst for Tigers pregame and postgame shows. He'll make his broadcasting debut during FSD's coverage of the Tigers' season opener April 5.
Octavio Dotel threw a scoreless inning for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday afternoon during a Mud Hens Spring Training game on the back fields at Tigertown. He's also scheduled to throw for the Tigers on Friday, which would give him one final test of throwing on back-to-back days before the Tigers break camp.