The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are meeting in Ohio over the next four days for a pivotal series. Both teams have won nine of their last 10 games and are among the hottest teams in baseball, but as important as the series may be, the Tigers shouldn’t risk Miguel Cabrera‘s health by letting him play.
Cabrera has been dealing with an abdominal injury for a while now, and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. He made it to second base Monday thanks to an error by Drew Stubbs, but by no means did he look swift doing it. There was also a flare in foul territory which required Cabrera to move nimbly to his right that simply looked painful.
The Tigers would do themselves a major disservice if they were forced to go without him for an extended period of time. He came into the game Sunday as a pinch-hitter against the Chicago White Sox in extra innings, which could have also been a bad idea. If he had not registered that at-bat, the Tigers could have put him on the disabled list and backdated it to July 30. Now they would be forced to start over if they decided he was unfit to play.
The bottom line is Cabrera doesn’t look like himself, and he’s dealing with a type of injury which could easily be aggravated. There is no question this series with the Indians is a crucial one, but it’s not important enough to risk losing the best hitter in the game for any longer than they have to.
The Tigers would be better off if they forced Cabrera to sit until he can prove that he is not bothered by the injury. They have to make sure he is ready to play when the leaves start to change and the games become substantially more important than they are now.