Miguel Cabrera has just completed one of the greatest two year offensive stretches in MLB history, but as his Detroit Tigers get set to begin their playoff run on Friday there are plenty of internal concerns about the status of Cabrera’s health. You’d never know that Cabrera’s been hurting all season if you looked at the level of production he’s been able to maintain, but he’s been dealing with one nagging injury after another all season long.
Bad back. Sore left hip. Strained lower abdomen. Strained groin. Bruised shin. All ailments that slowed Cabrera at one point this season, some keeping him out of the lineup and others just slowing him down. None could completely hold him back. Even Cabrera’s own manager, Jim Leyland, can’t quite quantify it (per Sports Illustrated):
He’s not 100 percent. He’s been playing in a lot of pain. He’s a real tough guy. I think if anybody knew the pain he’s playing in, they probably wouldn’t believe it.
Cabrera’s been slowed most by the abdominal and groin issues, which have stunted his ability to run the bases. Naturally he has days that are better than others, but the team doesn’t appear worried about what he’ll be able to do while at the plate. Cabrera hit .348/.442/.636 on the year in 652 PA, winning his third consecutive batting title. His 44 HR and 137 RBI are nearly identical to the numbers he posted in 2012 and he’d of won his second consecutive Triple Crown if it hadn’t been for the phenomenal power season from Baltimore’s Chris Davis (53 HR, 138 RBI).
A near certainty to win another AL MVP Award, Cabrera will remain in the Tigers lineup as they try to reach the World Series and we likely won’t be able to tell that he’s hurting out there.