Asdrubal Cabrera wasn’t in the Texas Rangers’ lineup Tuesday night even though he owned a .432 career average against Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke.
When asked about the decision before the game, manager Chris Woodward said that Cabrera had a busy travel day on the off day Monday to tend to a personal matter. Woodward didn’t want to say what it was without first consulting with Cabrera.
That left the impression that it was a fairly significant deal, maybe a family matter or an illness.
It was a significant deal, all right. Cabrera, a native of Venezuela, used his off day to travel to Miami and be sworn in as a U.S. citizen.
“It’s a good feeling. We want to be part of the country,” Cabrera said. “We’re pretty excited. We’re always thinking that when I stopped playing baseball we want to stay here. I’m always going to go back to my country.”
Cabrera took the oath with wife Lismar, also a Venezuelan. Their two children were born in the U.S.
Cabrera’s brother and parents still live in Venezuela, which he visits multiple times during the off-season.
“We were going to stay here not matter what happens in Venezuela,” he said. “I love my country. I’m a family guy. The rest of my family is in Venezuela, so I’ll always to back home.”
Woodward said that he didn’t play Cabrera because he didn’t want to risk an injury to a player who had flown across the country and back in a matter of 24 to 36 hours.
“He’s had a lot of travel going on the last couple days, and I didn’t want to wear him out,” Woodward said. “I do respect when guys are going through something. It was a meaningful travel day for him. He’ll be in there tomorrow.”