Lopez explained the decision to leave Miguel in the bank

MIAMI — Miguel Cabrera had been in the starting lineup in 23 of Venezuela’s 24 games in World Baseball Classic history before Saturday’s game against the Dominican Republic at Lone Park in Miami. The only exception was Venezuela’s last meeting in the 2017 Classic, a game vs. Puerto Rico, where they have already been evacuated.

In other words, since his debut against Venezuela in the inaugural edition in 2006 against the Dominicans, in every match for Venezuela, the selected team managers (Luis Sojo in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and Omar Vizcual in 2017) have always written Cabrera’s name at the heart of the lineup.

The streak ended Saturday when Venezuelan manager Omar Lopez placed an order that included the 26-year-old Yankees second baseman, DH, and Kleyber Torres, who batted fifth. Cabrera, who will turn 40 next month, has remained on the bench as he prepares for what he has announced will be his last season in the major leagues.

“It’s not easy to leave Miguel Cabrera (at the bank), it’s very difficult,” López admitted at a press conference hours before the dedication.

Lopez explained that as part of his contract with the Detroit Tigers, Cabrera could only start two of the first four games in the first round to be consistent with Venezuela. From there, the decision of when to use it fell to the pilot and his training staff.

Lopez said Cabrera will be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game against Puerto Rico. Can also use coming off the bench on the same Saturday.

“I told him in advance which games I was going to play. We agreed and talked. He can come into the game as a pinch hitter,” Pilot said. “And we’re going to let him know today (Saturday) what situation he can put himself in so he can prepare and be ready as a growing player.”

“Mickey” has pitched in every edition of the World Baseball Classic, and is second in tournament history with six, one behind Cuban Alfredo Despain.

Wilmot Chandler

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