Cabr­era’s in­jury a bad one for Tigers

The Welland Tribune - - Sports - AN­THONY FENECH

This is bad. It could be the worst thing.

This is one of those things you say in spring train­ing that could make the Detroit Tigers a re­ally bad ma­jor-league base­ball team, 100-plus losses, along with Michael Ful­mer get­ting hurt again and well, there’s not re­ally a No. 3.

Miguel Cabr­era is in­jured and he will not play again this sea­son.

It is as bad as it sounds. It’s mid-June. For how­ever many losses the Tigers have had with Cabr­era — the team is 16-22 in games he has played this sea­son — at least they would have had the best hit­ter of this gen­er­a­tion tak­ing at least three at-bats a night.

And for the op­ti­mistic crowd: They’ve played .500 base­ball with­out him — what could they do with a healthy Cabr­era?

But now, he is out for the year with an in­jury at age 35, at a point when his dura­bil­ity was most ques­tioned and he’s still owed $154 mil­lion af­ter this sea­son and un­til 2023.

Be­fore you ask, no, there is not a trade mar­ket for such a player, not even Cabr­era.

His spring train­ing was sim­i­lar: He started slowly and grad­u­ally and with op­po­site-field power, showed him­self to be at full health to be­gin the sea­son. And when open­ing day ar­rived, he looked like the hit­ter we’ve come to know, knock­ing the ball around the field at high ve­loc­i­ties.

But since he made a fate­ful slip in Chicago dur­ing the sec­ond week of the sea­son — tum­bling to the dirt off first base on a hard-hit sin­gle — it has been an up­hill bat­tle. He’d re­turn, and then again, two weeks later af­ter a bi­ceps spasm, but in his first game back, he left with a right ham­string strain af­ter jog­ging to first base.

Per­haps both times Cabr­era’s ex­cep­tional in­stincts him led to in­jury: On the sin­gle in Chicago, to left-cen­tre field, he sensed there was a chance at sec­ond base, so he rounded first ag­gres­sively; on the ham­string strain in Kansas City — another hard-hit sin­gle — he tried to quicken his pace when the short­stop couldn’t han­dle the ball. Since he’s re­turned, his bat­ting av­er­age has steadily dropped from .323 to .299, where he will fin­ish the sea­son af­ter be­ing ruled out af­ter an MRI test on Tues­day night. In the 13 games af­ter his re­turn from the DL, Cabr­era went 10-for-48 (. 208) with two dou­bles, not ex­actly Cabr­era-like num­bers.

Miguel Cabr­era

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