DETROIT -- The Tigers had been stretching out Al Alburquerque for two-inning relief appearances before Jose Veras joined the bullpen. Now that Veras is on board, Alburquerque has a chance to go back to the versatile situational role that he filled for much of his previous two years in Detroit.
"I think you can start looking for Alburquerque around the sixth inning," manager Jim Leyland said Friday.
That doesn't mean Alburquerque will simply be a middle reliever, Leyland cautioned. It means that with Veras covering the seventh and eighth, Alburquerque's situations could come everywhere from the sixth to the eighth innings.
That's more the role Alburquerque filled in the past. He was a valuable strikeout specialist when he came up in 2011, then filled much the same role down the stretch last year while Octavio Dotel handled right-handed setup. Only when Dotel went on the disabled list in April did the Tigers have to stretch out Alburquerque for setup duty.
Miggy scratched after taking grounders
DETROIT -- Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was scratched from Friday night's starting lineup after taking ground balls during batting practice prior to Detroit's game against the White Sox. The team said it was because of discomfort he felt after running.
Newly acquired infielder Jose Iglesias will fill Cabrera's spot at third base, after making 33 starts at the position with the Red Sox this season. Ramon Santiago will slide into second, which had been filled by Iglesias in manager Jim Leyland's initial lineup. Left fielder Matt Tuiasosopo will bat third in Cabrera's place.
Cabrera has been dealing with a left abdominal strain for the past week and was held out of Wednesday's game due to the injury. Despite two days off for Cabrera, his injury is something that shouldn't keep the reigning American League Most Valuable Player off the field much longer. He aggravated the injury on a slow ground ball in Tuesday's game and left in the eighth inning.
Before fielding grounders during batting practice, Cabrera told MLB.com on Friday that he was feeling better than 70 percent, which was his estimate of how he felt while playing earlier this week.
In his quest for another Triple Crown, Cabrera leads the Majors with a .359 average, but he trails Baltimore's Chris Davis by seven home runs (39 to 32) and one RBI (100 to 99).
Peralta carries on with discipline possibly ahead
DETROIT -- Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Jhonny Peralta is the team's shortstop until someone rules otherwise. Major League Baseball may be making that ruling soon.
According to the Associated Press, Major League Baseball is prepared to announce that multiple players will be disciplined from their Biogenesis investigation no later than Monday. Reports say Peralta, among others, is facing a 50-game suspension without appeal, or risking a longer suspension if he appealed to an arbitrator for his connection to the now-closed Florida clinic.
"I don't have a comment yet about that," Peralta said on Wednesday. "I try to see what's better for everybody and see what can happen."
Peralta told MLB.com that there was nothing new to say on Friday, and he batted sixth and played shortstop against the White Sox in the series opener.
While Peralta's teammates say the wait for a possible suspension hasn't affected them one way or another, they have been concerned about the stream of leaks in the media in regards to MLB's investigation.
"You just don't know what's true and what's not, because they shouldn't even happen," Max Scherzer said, a union player's representative. "There are people that have access to that information that are acting inappropriately -- in violation of the [Collective Bargaining Agreement]."
The Tigers traded for shortstop Jose Iglesias on Tuesday, who will be a utility player in the infield with Peralta on the roster. Second baseman Hernan Perez was optioned to Double-A Erie prior to Friday's game.
Despite being optioned, Perez took grounders and participated in pregame batting practice. By rule, he will have 72 hours to report to Erie. With a potential suspension looming, he may stay around the club until Monday.
For roster purposes, a suspended player under MLB's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is treated like a player on the disabled list. If a player is optioned to the Minors, he doesn't have to sit in the Minors for 10 days before being recalled if he's replacing a suspended player.
"It's difficult to wait and everything like that," Peralta said on Wednesday. "Nobody wants to wait to see what'll happen. But whatever happens right now, I need to see what can happen and try to move on."
Iglesias has chance to be key defensive cornerstone
DETROIT -- Jose Iglesias was in a holding pattern like everybody else Tuesday night. He started at third base for the Red Sox against the Mariners, then was lifted for Brandon Snyder in the ninth inning. Iglesias doesn't get lifted for defensive purposes.
He had to wait for an explanation from Red Sox manager John Farrell.
"I had to wait like two, three more hours," Iglesias said Friday.
Once he got the news that he was traded to the Tigers, it made sense. They needed a shortstop, and they knew him.
"Back in 2008, when I was in the Dominican Republic [after defecting from Cuba], I had the chance to do a couple tryouts for the Detroit Tigers," he said.
Now, he has the chance to become a defensive keystone for the infield for years.
"It's a great organization, great team," he said. "I'm very happy to be here. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be here and represent the Tigers."
He'll do so wearing a number no one has seen on a Tigers uniform in nearly two decades.
Iglesias doesn't know a whole lot about the franchise and its history. He wasn't even school age when the great Lou Whitaker retired. No one had worn No. 1 for the Tigers since.
The fact that Iglesias is now wearing it will rub some people the wrong way. Leyland only half-jokingly offered to let Iglesias have his No. 10, the number Iglesias wore in Boston.
If Iglesias lives up to the scouting reports, any perceived slight won't last long. In the meantime, Iglesias is learning about Whitaker.
"I asked for No. 1," Iglesias said. "There used to be a really good player here in Detroit. Unfortunately, I never saw him play but I hear a lot of good things about him. I'm just really thankful to have that number.
"To me, it doesn't really matter. I mean, I like No. 1. I hear it's a special number, and I'm glad to have it."
Downs set for one more rehab appearance
DETROIT -- Tigers left-hander Darin Downs, sidelined with rotator cuff tendinitis, is set for one more rehab appearance at Triple-A Toledo. He's scheduled to pitch one inning for the Mud Hens on Saturday night.
Downs has already made two appearances in Toledo as he works his way back. He stretched out his arm for Toledo on Wednesday night, delivering a perfect sixth inning in relief of Jair Jurrjens before giving up two singles and a walk in a three-run seventh.
If all goes well Saturday, Downs should be ready to rejoin the Tigers when they head on the road next week, providing an extra left-hander and long reliever in the bullpen.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.