03/13/2013 6:23 PM ET
Back with Tigers, Cabrera still raking
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera's return to Tigers Spring Training from the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday consisted of one pitch, one swing and one trot around the bases. Not that the man needs any more accolades, but he left manager Jim Leyland impressed.
"I don't care who's throwing it. That's amazing. That just blows your mind," Leyland said. "I mean, that kind of stuff is mind-boggling to me. … That'll be a great memory for that kid, probably."
It was just getting work in for Cabrera.
"You want to get good at-bats," he said. "You want to do the same thing when you play guys in the big leagues. You don't want to get into bad adjustments, because when you swing bad, you can get into bad habits quick. You want to get a good at-bat."
Cabrera said he had a good experience in the World Baseball Classic despite Venezuela's early exit. He had fun facing Tigers teammate Octavio Dotel during the opener against the Dominican Republic, but it was short-lived.
"You don't want to end it like that too quick, but that's baseball," Cabrera said. "You never know what's going to happen, but we did our best over there and we didn't get lucky, so we're here."
It now leaves Cabrera with more than two weeks to get ready for the season. The trick is, he was so aggressive early in camp trying to get his bat ready for the World Baseball Classic that he doesn't have much left to do.
"You want to be ready for the first day of the season," Cabrera said. "That's our goal."
Smyly, Porcello also bullpen options
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said he has not ruled out the possibility of Drew Smyly or Rick Porcello opening the season in the bullpen, depending on who wins the open spot in the rotation. Nor has Dombrowski ruled out opening Smyly at Triple-A Toledo.
At this point, with their competition so close for Detroit's lone open rotation spot, Dombrowski is keeping all his options open, from trading Porcello to keeping both.
"All I've said is that they all deserve to start at the Major League level," Dombrowski said. "I didn't say that they're all going to start at the Major League level. And there's bullpen options and there's Triple-A options.
"I mean, that's the only choices. Six of them aren't going to start for us. So either one goes to the bullpen or one goes to Triple-A, if you don't make a move."
Manager Jim Leyland has stayed out of speculation on Porcello's future, but made the point Tuesday that Major League teams averaged just over 10 different starting pitchers last year, seemingly a statement about depth.
"It's not the strong point of our organization, the depth of starting at the upper levels," Dombrowski said Wednesday. "We've got some guys that we like, but time will play out on how much depth they provide, because it's hard to make that judgment during the spring. We like Casey Crosby, for example, but he has pitched very little in the spring."
Moya impressive in exhibition game
LAKELAND, Fla. -- With a Major League team facing a Division II college program, there aren't many impressions to be made. Steven Moya, however, stood out with his 3-for-3, three-run performance. He isn't anywhere near threatening the big leagues, but his talent is evident.
Moya was one of the outfielders the Tigers brought over from Minor League camp to enter Wednesday's exhibition against Florida Southern once the starting lineup had left. At 6-foot-7 and 229 pounds, he's hard to miss.
With a single, double and triple Wednesday, he would've been tough to miss regardless of his size.
"He's a real talent that got hurt last year," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's a prospect. He's a good one. That's where he stands right now, but he's an impressive young man."
Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski also mentioned Moya earlier in the day when talking about the organization's outfield depth. He's ranked by MLB.com as the organization's No. 11 prospect.
He had Tommy John surgery to repair a ligament tear he suffered in his right elbow on a throw from right field last year. He was batting .288 at the time at low Class A West Michigan with 14 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 47 RBIs.
Now, the 21-year-old says he's ready to go.
"In the offseason, I was here in Lakeland working out, rehabbing and trying to get back," Moya said. "Everything's good, thank god. Everybody told me it was going to take nine months, a year. I said, 'No, it's not going to happen. I'll be back soon.' Now I'm here, playing again, thank god."
• The Tigers and FOX Sports Detroit announced that all 162 regular-season games will be televised. All but 10 of those will be part of the FOX Sports Detroit package, with the remainder consisting of Saturday games on FOX and Sunday night games on ESPN.
• Look for Miguel Cabrera, Omar Infante, Victor Martinez and Alex Avila on the trip to Port St. Lucie on Thursday to play the Mets, the first of two long rides the Tigers have to Florida's Atlantic coast. Jhonny Peralta, Austin Jackson and Ramon Santiago will be part of the next long trip, on Saturday to Jupiter to face the Cardinals.