Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera may not have the power that led him to the MLB Triple Crown in 2012, but he still commands respect from the opposition.
So much in fact, that the Kansas City Royals deployed a unique defensive strategy against him during Monday night’s game at Comerica Park.
How about a seven-man outfield scheme?
Kansas City spaced their infielders on their normal sides of 2nd base – all of whom were standing on the outfield grass.
“A lot of it has to do with our arms,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “Maikel Franco can throw across the infield and Mondi has the plus arm. It is sort of one of those things where we’ll always look to see how we can gain an advantage.”
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire described the strategy as a first, and “interesting”:
“That was interesting,” Gardenhire said after the game. “We hadn’t seen that, but I can see their thinking. Miggy doesn’t run like he once did. We talked about it and kind of studied the thing out,” Gardenhire said. “And I’m sure they’ve done their homework on it. But when they were spread out like that, playing 7 to 10 yards deep on the grass, it sure looked like there were more holes than with the other shift.
“It would be interesting to see if he hit one in the middle of that and see if they could throw him out at first base.”
Cabrera finished the game with a single, two walks and a groundout during the 14-6 Royals win. The two teams go at it again tonight at 7:10 PM EST.
– – Quotes via Chris McCoskey of The Detroit News Link – –