This is the last question anyone involved with the Detroit Tigers‘ organization wants to ask themselves, but they might just have to: what would the team do without Miguel Cabrera?
Cabrera left Monday’s game against the Chicago White Sox with a hip injury after going from second base to home on a Victor Martinez single. He tried to go back out to the field after the incident, but he just didn’t look right.
Losing the Tigers’ MVP and Triple Crown winner for any amount of time would be a massive blow to the their offensive production. They replaced him with do-it-all Don Kelly, who might not even be a defensive upgrade at third base. Comparing Kelly to Cabrera at the plate is like comparing Michael Jordan to Michael Jackson. They’re both pretty cool dudes, but one of them was light years ahead in basketball skills.
The Tigers could also play Ramon Santiago at third base, but once again, they would be missing a huge amount of offensive production out of the spot. They could also put Matt Tuiasosopo in his place, but he hasn’t played the position regularly in quite a while. Tuiasosopo is essentially a dead-pull hitter with plenty of power, but isn’t versatile like Cabrera.
The bottom line is that the Tigers don’t have much of a contingency plan in the event of a Cabrera absence. He plays nearly every day and they haven’t prepared themselves for life without him. With his toughness, there is a good chance he hardly misses time at all, but the fact he came out of the game in the first place is an obvious sign that he was in some serious discomfort.
Cabrera has apparently been dealing with the injury for a while now, and he might be better off with a little time off.