DETROIT – Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera will be sidelined at least six weeks because of a calf injury, after being placed on the disabled list Saturday for the first time in his career.
Cabrera, a two-time AL MVP, pulled up while breaking for second on an attempted hit-and-run in the fourth inning of Friday's 8-6 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. An MRI showed a strain of his calf muscle but no injury to his Achilles' tendon.
Cabrera is hitting .350 with 15 homers and 54 RBI. He will miss the July 14 All-Star Game, for which he was the leading vote-getter among AL first basemen. Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the major leagues with 27 homers, also will miss the game in Cincinnati after breaking his left hand on June 26. Stanton is second to Bryce Harper in NL outfielder voting.
"It is a grade 3 calf strain, and it's probably going to be six weeks," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said before Saturday's game against Toronto. "When you lose the best hitter on the planet, it's a huge blow."
In the past two seasons, Cabrera played through a sports hernia, a broken bone in his foot and bone spurs in his ankles.
Detroit called up third baseman Jofry Marte from Class AAA Toledo. Marte, who has played 10 minor league games at first, was hitting .271 for the Mud Hens and has not played in the major leagues.
With Victor Martinez unable to play the field because of knee problems, the Tigers don't have an obvious replacement for Cabrera. Ausmus plans to rotate the spot while team President Dave Dombrowski seeks a longer-term solution. Ausmus put Alex Avila in the lineup at first base Saturday. Avila, who played some first base in college, made two good plays in the field, including a catch in foul territory as he flipped over the rail and into the seats in the fourth inning.