(Reuters) - Detroit Tigers third basemen Miguel Cabrera suffered a minor fracture below his right eye after getting hit by a grounder in a spring training game but is hopeful for the regular season opener, the team said on Tuesday.
Cabrera, who has shifted to third base from first base to accommodate Detroit’s free-agent signing of Prince Fielder, will be shut down for a week and be re-evaluated after that, but is expected to be fit for his team’s season opener on April 5.
The slugger may have been spared a more serious injury from Hunter Pence’s grounder on Monday as the ball deflected off his sunglasses during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I don’t think there’s any question that his sunglasses helped him a great deal yesterday,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a report on the team’s website.
“Who knows what would’ve happened yesterday if he didn’t have the sunglasses on, because you could see the imprint of the baseball on his sunglasses, the seams on there.”
Cabrera left the field bleeding under his right eye after fracturing his orbital bon and underwent a battery of tests on Monday and Tuesday.
The six-time All-Star hammered 30 home runs, drove in 105 runs and led the American League with a .344 batting average last season for the AL Central Division champions.
Reporting By Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue