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Tigers have reason for optimism with stars now healthy

For the first time in three years, Miguel Cabrera has been healthy all offseason. Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera bumped into actor/former wrestler The Rock and seemed pretty fired up about it, based on his Instagram post. But maybe the best thing about the picture is that the future Hall of Famer -- Cabrera, that is -- appears to be in his workout clothes.

Whether he was headed to a gym or at a gym or on the way back from one, this has been Cabrera's routine this winter, the first offseason he has been able to go through his regular conditioning work in three years. Cabrera had surgery on his abdominal area following the 2013 season, and after the 2014 season, he had ankle surgery, a procedure that turned out to be far more complicated than anticipated, and after a long offseason of rehabilitation, the Tigers weren't really sure how ready Cabrera would be for last April.

But for now -- "Knock on wood, because you never know what could happen," Tigers general manager Al Avila said -- Cabrera appears to be healthy, as does every other prominent Detroit player who has coped with injuries in the past.

"This is part of the reason why we have the hope that we have," Avila said.

Detroit finished last in the AL Central last season, with a 74-88 record, and has focused on stocking its pitching staff this winter, adding Jordan Zimmermann to the rotation and Francisco Rodriguez to be the closer.

But the health of the core players might be even more pivotal than the arms added.