Royals aren't big on free passes for Miggy

Royals aren't big on free passes for Miggy

KANSAS CITY -- Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has been battling leg injuries and an abdominal strain, but he was in starting lineup on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Don't look for the Royals to intentionally walk the dangerous right-handed slugger very often, though.

"You just balance it. You've got to be brave," manager Ned Yost said. "My philosophy is this and it's really simple. Because, I learned this when Barry Bonds was going through his heyday and was getting 200 walks a year. Every time I walked Barry Bonds, he'd come around and score anyway.

"So when you're hitting .350 like Miguel Cabrera is, he's going going to make 6 1/2 outs out of every 10. So is he going to hit a home run? Yeah, but what's the difference of me walking him and he scores anyway or he hits a home run? That's kind of my mindset. If he's making 6 1/2 outs out of every 10 and still hitting .350, the best hitter in baseball, you play the odds every once in a while.

"You pick your spots, you pick your matchups. With Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez behind him, you're just asking for trouble. Yeah, it's tough. They're tough decisions, but sometimes you've got to go mano-a-mano."

For the record, in 13 games this year preceding Friday night's series opener, the Royals had walked Cabrera eight times in 56 plate appearances but intentionally just twice. On each occasion, the Royals retired Fielder for the third out of the inning.

Cabrera took a .304 average with four homers and 11 RBIs in 13 games this season against the Royals into the series opener.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.