Wednesday, August 21, 2013
If Miggy misses time
By AJ Mass
For the moment, the injury suffered by Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night is shrouded in mystery. What we do know is that he injured himself on a swing in his final at-bat of the game. What we don't know is whether it was a new injury or a return of one of his multiple old injuries: a strained lower abdomen, an injured hip and a banged-up left leg.
Most importantly, we don't yet know how much time Cabrera will miss, if any. But let's assume that he ends up on the 15-day disabled list. How would the Tigers attempt to replace him in their lineup? Jose Iglesias would probably move from shortstop to third base, a position he was playing when he was still with the Boston Red Sox. At shortstop, Ramon Santiago would bring his .213 batting average and a single home run to the table in an effort to replace Cabrera's MVP-caliber production.
Does anybody think this would turn out well? Currently the Tigers have enough of a cushion that losing him for two weeks might not destroy their playoff chances, but it could cost them the division title and force them into a wild card spot. And if that happens, there's one person who would likely shoulder the majority of the blame.
It's not Cabrera. (Hey, injuries happen.)
It's not Santiago. (You can't be mad at him for not being as good as Cabrera.)
But if Jhonny Peralta wasn't serving a 50-game suspension, the Tigers would not be hurt nearly as much by Cabrera's absence. If that final series in Miami, during which Peralta would be eligible to return, actually ends up actually meaning something to Detroit, the team is going to have to think and long and hard about starting the biggest culprit.
David SchoenfieldTigers need healthy Cabrera for October
"And if there injury is more severe, be as cautious as possible. Remember what the Rangers did with Josh Hamilton in 2010. He hurt his rib in early September and missed the rest of the month, returning only for the final three games before the playoffs began. The Rangers had a larger margin of error -- they led the A's by 8 games when Hamilton was injured -- but they didn't rush him back. He returned and helped the Rangers reach the World Series. Oh ... and still won the AL MVP Award."