DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera ambled into the Tigers' clubhouse at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, appearing relaxed.
For the first time all season, Cabrera was not in Detroit's starting lineup Wednesday. Don Kelly took his place at first base.
For quite some time, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had been trying to figure out a way to give the All-Star and two-time reigning American League MVP Award winner a day off. That became more difficult when Victor Martinez's back and side soreness lingered.
Ausmus finally settled on Wednesday vs. the Dodgers as the game to be without both sluggers, for a number of reasons.
"Generally speaking, when you're a regular player, first of all, you want a day game off," Ausmus said. "We're playing outside of the division -- actually playing outside of the league, if you want to get technical. So that was the thought process behind it."
The manager also said that it's difficult to focus on matchups when selecting a day off for Cabrera because he hits a vast majority of pitchers well.
But the optimal time for Cabrera's short rest before the All-Star break would've come Sunday, according to Ausmus, when the Tigers faced David Price. Because that game was switched from the afternoon to the evening for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast, that plan was ruled out.
Torii well aware of Puig's ability to alter game
DETROIT -- Torii Hunter has been known to pull a few tricks on the basepaths.
Just Sunday night, he faked an injury to convince the Rays he wasn't going to steal second, only to fool his own manager in the process.
But, if he is to be believed, he won't be pulling any more fast ones on Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig. Tuesday night, Puig nearly threw Hunter out at second from basically the foul pole. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had to challenge to prove that Hunter did get in ahead of the awe-inspiring throw.
The play intimidated Hunter, and Puig followed it up with a warning -- just in case the throw wasn't enough. He wagged a finger at Hunter, who decided to hold up at third when Nick Castellanos followed his double with a base hit.
"Puig doesn't surprise me," Hunter said. "We all know he has a 65-super arm. I just tried to test him, tried to get something going. I was safe, but he scared me. I told him I wasn't going to run on him anymore.
"He's a good player, man. Strong arm. Loves to throw. You can tell."
Veryzer, former Tigers first-round pick, dies at 61
DETROIT -- Former Tigers shortstop and first-round pick Tom Veryzer passed away on Tuesday at the age of 61.
A native of Islip, N.Y., Veryzer was the 11th overall pick in the 1971 Draft and became the Tigers' regular shortstop in 1975 at the age of 22. A year later, Detroit used its second-round pick on Alan Trammell, who took over shortstop duties by the end of '77.
Soon after, the Tigers traded Veryzer to Cleveland, where he spent four seasons as the Indians shortstop. He kept on playing as a utility infielder until 1984, when his Major League career ended with the Cubs.
Veryzer batted .231 with 112 RBIs in 390 career games as a Tiger and .241 with 84 doubles, 14 home runs, 231 RBIs and a .577 OPS over 12 seasons in the Majors.
Veryzer is survived by his wife, Vivian, and three children -- Thomas, William and Jennifer. A viewing will be held Thursday at Overton Funeral Home in Islip, from 2-4:30 p.m. and 7-9 p.m ET. A mass will be held on Friday at 9:45 a.m. at St. Macy's Roman Catholic Church.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.