DETROIT — If Miguel Cabrera got his way, he would play 162 games every season.
However, as much as he hates taking a day off, he wasn’t sure Sunday night if he was going to be able to play Monday in Chicago.
"I don’t know," he said with some frustration. "I don’t know how I’m going to feel in the morning."
Cabrera left Sunday’s 5-3 loss in the sixth inning with tightness in his left hamstring, a problem that started earlier in the weekend.
"It hurt yesterday, but I was able to keep playing," he said. "Today, it got worse."
The problem first became noticable in the fourth inning, when Cabrera hit a double down the rightfield line. As Boston’s Daniel Nava tried to corral the loose ball, Cabrera wasn’t able to accelerate between first base and second.
Victor Martinez followed with an RBI single, with Cabrera jogging home before slowly walking back to the dugout.
"That was when it really started to hurt," he said. "On the double."
Cabrera mentioned the problem to Brad Ausmus at that point, but stayed in the game. In the sixth, however, he was obviously limping on his way to first after a base hit. Ausmus and athletic trainer Kevin Rand met him at the bag, and after a brief discussion, escorted him to the dugout.
"He had mentioned it earlier in the game, but it was clear coming out of the batter’s box that it was really bothering him in the sixth," Ausmus said. "At that point, it didn’t do us any good to keep him out there and risk him making it worse."
Ausmus said that he won’t make a decision about Cabrera until just before Monday’s game, and said that he wasn’t sure that using him as a designated hitter would help the situation.
"There’s two schools of thought about that," he said. "If you use him as a DH, he sits around all game and the muscle gets cold. If it tightens up, and then he has to run out a hit, he can make the injury worse. If you play him at first base, the muscle stays warm and there would be less risk. On the other hand, moving around in the field means that he could pull it even while warmed up. So it is a tough call."
Cabrera was equally uncertain about where he would want to play if he is in the lineup.
"I don’t know. It just depends how I feel tomorrow. I don’t know anything right now."