As the 2012 season comes to a close, Miguel Cabrera is on pace to become the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967. As of today, he sits at a .329 BA (which is 4 points higher than Mike Trout at .325), 44 HR (which is one ahead of Josh Hamilton) and 137 RBI (that is 10 more than Hamilton). The question in the baseball world is, “Will he be the next TC winner?” My question is, “Should he even play?”
I’m going to come right out and say it: the Detroit Tigers should sit Miguel Cabrera for at least one of the final two games.
Mathematically, it is very unlikely for Trout to catch Miguel Cabrera in BA. If Cabrera sits, there will be no chance. As far as RBI, no way does Hamilton catch Cabrera. The only category that could possibly cost Cabrera in sitting is HR. In the final two games, it is possible for Hamilton to hit two homeruns. Hamilton will certainly play in the final two games because the Texas Rangers are still in the running for the #1 seed. I can’t imagine they will rest him.
Now I know that it is possible, especially for Hamilton, for him to hit two homeruns in two games. But really, what are the chances of that happening? I say give Cabrera the rest for at least one game to secure his chances of winning the TC. You can easily justify it that there is a playoff series that needs to be played, he needs the rest. The Tigers will be the #3 seed no matter what happens from here on out–that won’t change. There is no benefit for the Tigers to play Cabrera in both games.
I know it won’t be the popular choice to sit Miguel Cabrera, nor the “manly” choice, but I’d sacrifice all that for a chance to win the TC. Don’t be surprised if that is the move the Tigers take over the next two days.