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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Articles tagged: Miguel Cabrera

Miguel Cabrera has message for ex-teammate Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander

After five seasons apart, might the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Justin Verlander be headed for a reunion? If Miguel Cabrera had his way, they certainly would.

Cabrera, who’s been with the Tigers since 2008, recently popped up on Verlander’s Instagram account with an unmistakable message: Come back home.

Detroit sent Verlander to the Houston Astros with just seconds remaining before the waiver trade deadline in 2017. He went on to win a World Series that season and has since made two All-Star appearances. In 2019, he also led the league in wins.

With those accomplishments out of the way, the 38-year-old Verlander has nothing holding him back. Of course, he did miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, so perhaps the Tigers themselves would be hesitant.

There’s also a potential hiccup when it comes to salary, but Detroit is on record as saying they intend to spend big. How much they’d be willing to shell out for an aging pitcher remains to be seen, however.

Meanwhile, the Astros have also expressed a public interest in having Verlander return in 2022. But there may be a fracture in Houston after Verlanded suggested the team wouldn’t let him rehab at their facilities.

The market for Verlander will be interesting and will likely hinge on his recovery and health. But don’t rule out a return to Detroit.

H/T: The Detroit News

Miguel Cabrera rips White Sox over sign-stealing accusations

Miguel Cabrera

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was extremely upset after claiming the Chicago White Sox accused him of stealing signs during Tuesday night’s game.

In plate appearance during Tuesday’s win over the White Sox, Cabrera could be seen angrily gesturing toward either the mound or the middle infield. He revealed on Wednesday that he was upset with White Sox second baseman Nick Madrigal, who Cabrera said was accusing the Tigers of stealing signs. Cabrera’s angry response did not mince words.

“It was the second baseman because he tried to tell the catcher and the pitcher we passed the sign,” Cabrera said, via Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic. “I mean, come on, that’s some bull—-, I don’t play that game.

“You need to respect it. You don’t need to show up me or somebody or the runner on second, try to say we passed the sign from second. Come on, get the f— outta here.”

Ever since the Houston Astros scandal, teams have been more alert about sign-stealing. It probably doesn’t help that the Tigers are managed by the same guy who was in charge of the Astros when that was going on.

Cabrera is pretty definitive here. It could make for a very interesting rest of the series, though.

Photo: Cbl62/Wikimedia via CC BY-SA 3.0

Video: Miguel Cabrera slid into second base on awesome snow home run

Miguel Cabrera snow slide

The MLB season is officially underway, but you wouldn’t know it was spring with the weather we saw in Detroit on Thursday. We’re grateful for that weather, however, because it is the reason Miguel Cabrera slid into second base after belting a home run.

Cabrera hit the first home run of the 2021 season in the Tigers’ game against the Cleveland Indians. It was snowing pretty heavily at the time, and Cabrera lost sight of the opposite-field shot. Since he wasn’t sure if it left the park, he played it safe by sliding into second. Check it out:

You may not know this, but running is not Cabrera’s strong suit. The fact that he slid into second base on a play where he really only needed to trot around the bases is awesome.

Cabrera showed us last year with his funny trash talk that he never takes the game too seriously, so you know he’s going to have a good laugh at his own expense.

Miguel Cabrera had funny trash talk for Josh Donaldson

Miguel Cabrera

Now in the twilight of his MLB career, Miguel Cabrera is definitely trying to enjoy the time he has left.

During a first-inning at-bat in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, the Detroit Tigers slugger could be seen chirping at the Twins dugout. Dan Hayes of The Athletic revealed that Cabrera was talking to Josh Donaldson, asking him jokingly why he was not playing. Cabrera also hilariously turned to Twins manager Rocco Baldelli to ask why Donaldson sitting.

Cabrera and Donaldson are both a pair of former AL MVPs. The former is still an everyday player for the Tigers. But the latter has missed time with a calf strain this season and has come off the bench ever since returning.

In any case, Cabrera is really letting his personality show this year, and we absolutely love to see it.

Video: Miguel Cabrera takes grounders at shortstop, looks slim

Miguel Cabrera Robert Hernandez

Though he is about to enter his age-37 season, Miguel Cabrera is looking surprisingly nimble.

The Detroit Tigers tweeted out a video Tuesday of the veteran slugger taking grounders at shortstop and appearing noticeably trimmer. Take a look:

Cabrera, whose official playing weight is 249 pounds, made 136 appearances for the Tigers last season, mainly as a designated hitter. It was a fairly effective year at the dish, as he hit .282 with 12 homers and 59 RBIs.

While the former AL MVP probably won’t be seeing any real time at short during the season, he actually began his minor-league career at shortstop in 2000 before eventually transitioning to third base. In recent years, Cabrera has obviously been a lot less agile, but his form in the infield isn’t looking half-bad heading into the 2020 campaign.

5 MLB players in need of a bounceback season in 2020

Trevor Bauer

There is still hope of playing the 2020 MLB season. While players definitely want to get back to action, there are some who may feel they have more to prove than others. Those players had bad seasons in 2019 by their standards, and would love nothing more than to make things right in 2020.

Here are five players who are looking for bounceback seasons after underwhelming 2019 campaigns.

5. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Padres

The second year of Hosmer’s eight-year deal with the Padres wasn’t much better than the first, which is worrisome from San Diego’s perspective. The veteran first baseman hit .265 with 22 home runs, but his .310 OBP simply isn’t good enough, especially for someone making $21 million annually. Hosmer is only 30, and he is still sound defensively, but he doesn’t look like the guy who was once an All-Star for the Kansas City Royals. The Padres need that to change.

4. Edwin Diaz, RP, Mets

Prior to the 2019 season, the Mets gave up a huge sum to get Diaz and Robinson Cano — most notably top prospect Jarred Kelenic. Diaz was a bust. After posting a 1.96 ERA in his final season with the Mariners, Diaz’s ERA ballooned to 5.59 in New York, and he blew seven saves. Whatever the reason for Diaz’s issues — one ex-teammate thought the city was a bad fit for him — the Mets need him to be a lot better to justify the hefty price they paid for him.

3. Miguel Cabrera, DH/1B, Tigers

Cabrera mostly stayed healthy last season, which is an improvement from a lost 2018 season. However, his tally of 12 home runs is unfathomably low for a player who was once one of the most feared sluggers in the game. It may be that age and injury have sapped Cabrera of his power, as his numbers have cratered since the 2016 season. The Tigers have him on the books through 2023, and while he may never be an MVP again, they’d desperately like to get some production out of him.

2. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds

Votto is one of the most intelligent and cerebral hitters in the league, so to see him post his worst season as an MLB player in 2019 is really alarming. Votto hit just .261, with only 15 home runs and 47 RBIs. Those are remarkably bad numbers from one of the most reliable hitters of his generation. Votto turned 36 last September, so this is another instance where age may be catching up to him. The Reds, who have been very aggressive in the offseason, are hoping that is not the case. They need Votto to be himself in order to contend. Based on some of his recent comments, we expect a turnaround.

1. Trevor Bauer, P, Reds

Bauer had a 2.21 ERA in 2018 and looked to be establishing himself as one of the game’s best pitchers. He wasn’t quite as good for the start of 2019, and then his numbers cratered after he was dealt to Cincinnati. Bauer won just twice in 10 starts for the Reds, posting a 6.39 ERA, though he said he was playing through injury. Bauer was acquired to lead the staff, and he’s entering a contract year. For those reasons, he should be motivated to be at his best in 2020. The Reds, who will likely anchor their rotation around him, desperately need that to be the case.

Miguel Cabrera hits back after broadcaster questions leadership

Miguel Cabrera Robert Hernandez

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera is one of only a few veterans in a very young clubhouse, and some are not convinced that he’s leading his younger teammates in the right direction.

One of those people is Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris, a regular commentator for Tigers games on TV. In a recent interview with Chris Nelsen for the Detroit Free Press, Morris questioned whether Cabrera has the demeanor to fill a leadership role for the team.

“You can’t ask a guy to be anything he’s not,” Morris said. “Miggy has always loved the game. He has fun playing the game. That’s who he is.”

Cabrera and Morris spoke privately in May about some disagreements, but it seems that the truce was not permanent. After the Tigers lost Sunday to the Boston Red Sox, the first baseman made clear that he was not happy with Morris’ recent assessment.

Cabrera added that his leadership style is not publicly vocal.

Time has not been kind to Cabrera. He’s hit just five home runs this year and is facing the reality of dealing with a chronic knee problem for the rest of his career. There’s no doubt that he’s struggling with the fact that he’s nowhere near as productive as he used to be, and it doesn’t help that he’s playing for one of the worst teams in baseball after spending the bulk of his Tigers career playing for contenders. Hearing talk like this probably frustrates him even more.

Miguel Cabrera diagnosed with chronic knee injury

Miguel Cabrera Robert Hernandez

Miguel Cabrera has been diagnosed with a chronic knee condition.

The Detroit Tigers first baseman left the Tigers’ 8-2 win over the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning last Friday with right knee soreness. He had an MRI Saturday and was put back in the lineup Tuesday, smacking a grand slam in a 9-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

According to The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, Cabrera consulted with four world-renowned surgeons who did not recommend surgery for the injury. The cause of the injury is “attrition”, according to Tigers team trainer Doug Teter.

Cabrera’s return to the lineup comes with a catch. Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire says Cabrera will be relegated to the designated hitter position for the rest of the season. Cabrera had played 25 games at first base this year and has primarily played the field throughout his career in Detroit.

Cabrera dealt with his fair share of injury trouble last year, playing just 38 games before having season-ending surgery to repair ruptured tendons in his biceps.

The 36-year-old is slashing .284/.356/.356 for the Tigers this season.

10 MLB players on track to reach the Hall of Fame

Clayton Kershaw

Though their careers aren’t yet over, there are a number of MLB players who have likely already done enough to punch their ticket to the Hall of Fame after they quit playing. There are other young players who have started promisingly, but a handful of veterans have really stood out and put together resumes that will be hard to deny when their names come up on the Hall of Fame ballot after their retirement. Some are still producing at a high level, while some are not, but all of them should be treasured as long as they are still entertaining us with their talents.

Here are ten active MLB players who warrant strong Hall of Fame consideration — if they haven’t all but clinched it already.

10. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees

Sabathia has a clear Hall of Fame case, but it’s a somewhat murky one. His peak was certainly good enough, but his 3.69 career ERA is somewhat high for a Hall of Famer. And, despite some memorable postseason exploits, he doesn’t have the playoff resume to stand out, either, and only won the Cy Young once. Still, it’s easy to see how Sabathia gets in. His longevity and consistency ensure he should get to 250 wins, and he’s already surpassed 3,000 strikeouts. Plus, his history of clutch pitching — including his stretch run with Milwaukee — could play on voters’ minds.


X-rays negative on Miguel Cabrera’s hand after being hit by pitch

Miguel Cabrera Robert Hernandez

The initial injury news on Miguel Cabrera seems positive.

Cabrera left Saturday’s Detroit Tigers-Toronto Blue Jays game after being hit by a pitch on the hand in the sixth inning. He underwent X-rays on his hand which came up negative, indicating no broken bones.

Even though he did not suffer a break, having full strength in one’s hand is vital to swinging a bat, so the injury could still keep Cabrera out some time until he is healed. That’s bad news for the Tigers offense, which is struggling to score runs early on.

The Tigers were shut out over the first nine innings of their extra innings win on Opening Day, were shut out on Friday, and had yet to score a run in Saturday’s game prior to Cabrera’s exit.

Cabrera had two of the team’s three hits at the time he left — his first hits of the season.