Miguel Cabrera is likely to see action at designated hitter for most of the remaining games of the regular season so the Detroit Tigers third baseman can get rest for his ailing hip.
It’s a maneuver that manager Jim Leyland needs to make, and one he said he will be doing at least this Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. Cabrera will go from third base to DH and Victor Martinez would go from DH to catcher. Cabrera should stick with being the DH or taking the day off for the rest of the regular season.
It’s no secret that he can’t run at full speed since the end of July when he started having hip/abdominal problems. He’ definitely not ready for the playoffs, which is why Leyland was long overdue in making this decision.
When the playoffs start, Cabrera needs to be at full speed and playing a solid third base. The Tigers need to have Martinez back at DH and Alex Avila catching. That’s Detroit’s best lineup. Cabrera won’t win playoff games by himself, but needs teammates like Martinez and Avila to be swinging a mean bat. Obviously, the pitching goes up several notches in the playoffs since the opponents will no longer be the Houston Astros.
Cabrera will have to play every playoff game from start to finish so the Tiger can get as many at-bats out of him as possible, but he’s obviously still a poor defensive player at third base. Solid defense at the corner is just as important as a productive bat during the playoffs.
Since Detroit will clinch its division in a few days, Leyland has been given a gift of being able to protect his best player. Cabrera can still win the batting crown and RBI title. He’s too far behind in the home run chase. That said, a back-to-back Triple Crown isn’t what Cabrera wants. He wants that World Series ring.
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