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Miguel Cabrera's stomach hurts, but nobody in Detroit was laughing on Thursday afternoon.
Cabrera wasn't around to celebrate the Tigers' 7-6, walk-off victory after he left the game in the fifth inning due to abdominal discomfort. Trying to stretch a long single into a double, Cabrera slid awkwardly into second, tweaking the muscle. Cabrera took some time getting up and walked off the field gingerly, leaving some to wonder about the severity of the injury.
After the game, Cabrera assured reporters that the injury wasn't serious.
"I’m OK," he told the Detroit Free Press. "I’ll play tomorrow. Don’t worry."
Despite Cabrera's confidence, there's some cause for concern with the ailment. The third baseman has been dealing with abdominal issues for nearly a month, missing close to a week of action with a strained abdominal muscle earlier in August, so any aggravation of the injury has the potential to sideline him for more than a few games. Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't seem overly concerned but did offer that Cabrera was hobbled by the injury after the game.
"I saw him afterwards," Leyland said. "He had a big smile. He wasn't moving around too good, but I think he’ll be OK."
Owners in daily leagues, such as this evening's FanDuel league we're promoting, would do well to check in on the slugger before automatically inserting him into their lineups on Friday night -- whether Cabrera wants a day off or not, the Tigers would be wise to play it safe with their star. But either way, it looks as though Cabrera will get back to padding his MVP-caliber statistics sooner than later.
Click here for the latest MLB Player News on Miggy and everyone else, and follow @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter for all the newest developments. Feel free to shoot any fantasy questions to @Nate_Grimm as we head down the home stretch as well.
No Break For Upton
Justin Upton wasn't able to get out of the way of a Ubaldo Jimenez fastball, but like Cabrera, he was still fortunate enough to dodge a bullet.
Upton left Thursday's game after being hit on the left hand with a pitch in the fifth inning, but X-rays after the game came back negative. Upton said he was initially worried the injury might be more serious.
"Hands are fragile, and any time you get hit on it you definitely worry a little bit," Upton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "(But) nothing is going on there, so it’s good."
As it is, Upton is being considered day-to-day with a contusion in the hand. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Upton will probably miss Friday's game for those in daily leagues but that Upton could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday.
"Right now I’m thinking I’m just going to give him tomorrow off and go from there," Gonzalez said. "But yeah I’m thinking just one (game)."
After the Jason Heyward injury, both the Braves and fantasy owners will gladly take some good news on the 26-year-old.
The non-waiver trade deadline passed on July 31, but deals are still being brokered in advance of the September 1 deadline to acquire players for the postseason.
Early Friday it was reported the Indians had acquired OF Jason Kubel from the Diamondbacks in exchange for a minor leaguer. Meanwhile, the Orioles were said to be interested in both the Twins' Josh Willingham and the Mariners' Michael Morse.
The Kubel deal is of interest mainly to owners in single leagues, as a trade to the Indians sends him from the NL to the AL. Kubel will likely serve as the Tribe's designated hitter against right-handers and could also see some time in the field. AL-only owners might take a chance on Kubel in hopes he rediscovers whatever it was he found in Arizona last season.
If either Willingham or Morse -- or possibly both -- ends up in Baltimore, their counting stats may benefit slightly depending on their usage. Both are fringy mixed leaguers at best, but Willingham offers more upside for the remainder of 2013.
National League Quick Hits: Starling Marte (hand) took one-handed swings on Thursday. If he progresses well, he could be back with the Pirates by the middle of September ... Yovani Gallardo threw seven shutout innings in a win over the Pirates. He's now allowed just two earned runs in 19 1/3 innings since coming off the disabled list ... Scott Baker (elbow) threw five scoreless innings in his first rehab start with Low-A Kane County. He's still holding out hope of pitching for the Cubs before the season ends ... Bryce Harper homered on Thursday, running his hitting streak to 11 games in the process ... the Cardinals optioned RHP Michael Wacha to Double-A Springfield, but it's more procedural than anything for the 22-year-old. He'll be back with the big club -- in some capacity -- after rosters expand ... Norichika Aoki sat out Thursday's game with patellar tendinitis. It'll likely be an issue that continues to limit him somewhat over the last month of the season ... Ross Ohlendorf is the frontrunner to make the start Sunday for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg is not being considered ... Cody Asche (hamstring) missed Thursday's game against the Mets, and it's unclear if he'll be able to return this weekend. It's Michael Young's time to shine.
American League Quick Hits: Jacoby Ellsbury (foot) was in the Red Sox lineup on Thursday after fouling a ball off his foot and leaving Wednesday's game. X-rays on the foot came back negative, and he proved the foot's health by stealing his 50th base of the season during the game ... Ernesto Frieri and Jim Johnson both earned saves on Thursday. Both relievers seem to be ahead in their respective battles for closing duties down the home stretch ... An MRI on Eduardo Nunez' right knee came back negative. Nunez missed Wednesday's game but he's considered day-to-day ... Carlos Corporan has been working out for the past few days and Max Stassi has been riding an exercise bike. Both Astros catchers are dealing with the aftermath of a concussion, and neither has a set timetable for their return ... Samuel Deduno will undergo X-rays and an MRI on his right shoulder on Monday. The right-hander left Thursday's start after three innings ... Brandon Moss hit four home runs in the Athletics' four-game series against the Tigers that concluded Thursday. He's now got seven homers and 14 RBI in his last 10 games.