OAKLAND, Calif. -- Most of the focus on the Detroit Tigers' workout session on Thursday dealt with the health of Miguel Cabrera and the last few remaining decisions about the 25-man playoff roster.
Cabrera said during a press conference on Thursday that he's feeling better after five days of rest.
He's been dealing with a variety of injuries over the last few months of the season. The injuries have been described by the Tigers' staff at times as an abdominal strain, hip flexor and groin injury.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland acknowledged that Cabrera isn't 100 percent healthy and won't be during the playoffs, which start Friday night in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics at the O.co Coliseum.
"He's playable," Leyland said Thursday before the team's workout. "He's not 100 percent. Obviously the medical people feel that he's not going to do anything to endanger his future and he wants to play. He's handicapped a little bit, obviously, although I think he is better. Probably the last few days have helped him out a little bit.
Because Cabrera won't be able to run at full speed, Leyland admitted that he may opt to bring in a pinch runner for him in the eighth inning or later.
"You've just got to be willing to live with the fact that he's not going to run very well and that pretty much sums it up," Leyland said.
Asked if it would have been better to take a couple weeks off at the end of the season or earlier when he first started, Cabrera brushed aside the question: "After season, we can let it rest."
He said the five days off since the regular-season finale in Miami on Sunday have helped.
"I feel better today, like I say before, hopefully tomorrow, feel much better," Cabrera said. "Yesterday in batting practice, I feel better and I'm positive tomorrow is going to be good. I'm going to be okay, and hopefully I can play 100 percent."
Only Cabrera, Leyland and the medical staff know the extent of the injury, although Leyland reiterated comments he made in Detroit earlier this week that it was significant.
"Obviously we've been playing him and he has been injured, believe me," Leyland said. "I don't think people know how sore he has been."
It's not a case of a stubborn player or stubborn manager though.
"We don't go above the medical people, we're not bigger than that," Leyland said. "We talk to Miguel, he gets his treatment, we talk to the doctors and he's playable."
-- ROSTER UPDATE: Jhonny Peralta will be on the Tigers' 25-man roster, Leyland revealed Thursday. Leyland also said left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez and infielder Hernan Perez are on the roster, while outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo was left off.
While Peralta will be used in left field, Leyland said Andy Dirks will get the start there in Game 1. Dirks is 4-for-8 lifetime off Bartolo Colon, Oakland's Game 1 starter.
Peralta is 2-for-11 lifetime against Colon.
"I'm just going to use some statistical analysis, some gut feeling, a combination of those things," Leyland said of who to start in left field. "We'll play it by ear and each game. Basically what you do is, like every other manager you put out the lineup that gives you the best chance to win that particular game. So I will play Andy Dirks tomorrow night."
The Tigers roster:
Pitchers: Al Alburquerque, Jose Alvarez, Joaquin Benoit, Doug Fister, Rick Porcello, Luke Putkonen, Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer, Drew Smyly, Jose Veras, Justin Verlander.
Hitters: Alex Avila, Brayan Pena, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Jose Iglesias, Omar Infante, Jhonny Peralta, Hernan Perez, Ramon Santiago, Andy Dirks, Torii Hunter, Austin Jackson, Don Kelly, Victor Martinez.
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