The Tigers are filling their sizable void at first base from within.
Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed Wednesday that with Prince Fielder now in Texas, Miguel Cabrera will shift from third base back to his old post at first next season.
Dombrowski: "We're looking at Nick Castellanos as our third baseman. Miguel Cabrera is going to first base for us." So that's now set.—
Jason Beck (@beckjason) December 04, 2013
Cabrera was the Tigers’ everyday first baseman during his first four years in Detroit, appearing in just 14 games at the hot corner over that span. He moved over to third after the acquisition of Fielder in 2011 and played there almost exclusively for the past two seasons.
The two-time defending American League MVP is a serviceable fielder, but the grind of being an everyday third baseman took a toll on his body. Cabrera was noticeably run down during last season’s playoff run, going just 11-for-42 with two home runs as the Tigers fell to the Red Sox in the ALCS.
Taking over as the primary starter at third will be 21-year-old Nick Castellanos, whom both Baseball America and MLB.com rate as Detroit’s No. 1 prospect. Castellanos spent the majority of the 2013 season with Triple-A Toledo, posting a .276/.343/.450 slash line with 18 home runs and 76 RBIs in 134 games. He also appeared in 11 games for the big league club, going 5-for-18 with a run scored.