Dan Schlossberg's Spring Report: Miggy Already Ready • Latino Sports

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Dan Schlossberg’s Spring Report: Miggy Already Ready

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JUPITER, FL – With two long home runs in Detroit’s 17-3 win over St. Louis Monday, Miguel Cabrera served notice that he’s ready to roll in his bid for a three straight American League MVP award.

The Venezuelan slugger should be more relaxed this season too since he’s moving across the diamond from third base, where he’s weak, to first, where he’s at least as good as Prince Fielder (now with Texas). Peace of mind promotes peace at the plate, or so the Tigers believe.

Two MVPs in a row but already in midseason form

Two MVPs in a row but already in midseason form

Cabrera, who won a rare Triple Crown in 2012, has delivered consecutive 44-homer years even though he plays home games in a park not kind to power hitters. Lou Palmer, the veteran Florida broadcaster, calls him the best two-strike hitter he’s ever seen.

Just short of his 31st birthday, Cabrera carries the Tigers all by himself. And he’ll have Ian Kinsler, acquired for Fielder, on base ahead of him often this season. After posting a career high with a .348 batting average last season, don’t be surprised if Cabrera posts a career high in runs batted in this year. His previous peak was 139 two years ago (he had two less in 2013).

Although the Cleveland Indians might protest, Detroit remains the strongest team in the AL Central. Having the defending MVP and former Cy Young Award winners Max Scherzer (2013) and Justin Verlander (2012) definitely helps.

The Tigers will also benefit this season from rookie manager  Brad Ausmus, one of the brightest men in the game. He was hired to succeed Jim Leyland without any managerial experience — not even in the minors — but the Tiger players have already shown how pleased they are with his appointment.

Jim Leyland has been replaced by Brad Ausmus (Lisa Luevanos / Latino Sports)

Jim Leyland has been replaced by Brad Ausmus (Lisa Luevanos / Latino Sports)

Other camp news:

With Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and Brandon Beachy all ailing, the Atlanta Braves may swoop into the Ervin Santana signing sweepstakes . . .

Hall of Fame insiders predict this year’s six-man class will swamp Cooperstown with more than 200,000 visitors for Induction Weekend at the end of July. The previous record crowd was 80,000 for the twin enshrinement of Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. . .

If spring training is an accurate barometer, the Yankees will finally reap dividends from pitcher Michael Pineda this season . . .

The St. Louis lineup Monday featured three Matts (Carpenter, Holliday, and Adams) and a Mark (Ellis) . . .

Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson, starting his tenth year in the majors, was finally victimized by a baseball smashing into his car . . .

Roger Dean Stadium, the only Florida ballpark that hosts two teams, is no longer the prettiest ballpark on the planet — thanks to a Courtyard by Marriott squeezing in between the stadium and the indoor parking garage. It will open in June . . .

Stephen Strasburg is adding a slider this spring

Stephen Strasburg is adding a slider this spring

Washington ace Stephen Strasburg is adding a slider to his already-fearsome arsenal . . .

The late Jim Fregosi, a player and manager who spent the last 13 years as an Atlanta superscout and executive, has his name emblazed on a memorial baseball hanging on the outfield wall at Disney’s Champion Stadium . . .

Although controversial pitcher Roger Clemens will be enshrined in the Red Sox Hall of Fame this summer, his No. 21 is not yet retired by the club . . .

The Sox were fined by Major League Baseball for failing to adhere to the rule that visiting teams bring at least four regulars. The Miami Marlins, who hike ticket prices for games involving the Yankees and Red Sox, complained to MLB . . .

Wanna bet ex-Met Oliver Perez shines in his new job as a reliever with the Arizona Diamondbacks? Enigmatic in New York, Perez found his niche in the pen . . .

Jonathon Niese is back with the Mets after a hasty trip to New York to check out

Jonathon Niese still hopes to start Opening Day

Jonathon Niese still hopes to start Opening Day

his arm fatigue. The lefty still may draw the Opening Day assignment March 31 . . .

While they are in Panama to play the Yankees this coming weekend, the Miami Marlins will take a tour of the Panama Canal. Not something that happens in spring training every day but, as Joaquin Andujar said in his one-word description of baseball, “Youneverknow.”

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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