Cabrera's health a concern for Tigers

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 02, 2013
That sweet swing is still there. No matter how banged up Miguel Cabrera has been, he's always a threat to hit the ball where nobody can catch it. It's the rest of his duties that have looked more and more painful. Those jogs out of the batter's box became progressively slower - and although Cabrera helped the Detroit Tigers win the AL Central for a third straight year, even they can't be sure what to expect from their best hitter in the postseason. ''He's not 100 percent,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ''He's been playing in a lot of pain. He's a real tough guy. I think if anybody knew the pain he's playing in, they probably wouldn't believe it.'' After winning the Triple Crown in 2012, Cabrera was even better for much of this season. By the end of August, he looked well on his way to one of the American League's best offensive seasons of the last 50 years. His final numbers were still terrific - a .348 average with 44 homers and 137 RBIs - but toward the end, a number of nagging problems began to add up. ''It doesn't matter right now,'' Cabrera said. ''You've got to be ready to play. Go out there and play hard.'' Cabrera missed a game in early July with a bad back, and on July 22 against the Chicago White Sox, he exited early with what the team said was a sore left hip flexor. After missing four games, the star third baseman homered in his first at-bat July 27 against Philadelphia. That began a remarkable pattern in which Cabrera would miss time because of one injury or another - but still put up staggering numbers when he did play. He was bothered by a strained lower abdomen, but after missing a few days in early August, he came back to help Detroit sweep a key four-game series at Cleveland. Then he homered in all three games of a road series against the New York Yankees, twice off Mariano Rivera. The first homer off Rivera was the most memorable - a tying two-run shot in the ninth inning that came while Cabrera was still hobbling after fouling two balls off his left shin in the at-bat. The Tigers ended up losing, but it was still one of the highlights of the season. Then on Aug. 20, Cabrera aggravated a strain in his groin, abdominal and hip area. He kept playing, never going on the disabled list, but his numbers finally dipped a bit. At the end of an Aug. 26 game against Oakland, Cabrera was hitting .359 with 43 homers and 130 RBIs. Since then, he's hit .284 with only two extra-base hits in 25 games. Now the Tigers enter the AL division series against the Athletics hoping their slugger has had enough time to work through his various ailments. ''Every day we can give Miggy off and let him rest his groin is a good thing,'' said right-hander Max Scherzer, who will start Game 1 on Friday. The abdominal and groin issues have probably been most apparent when Cabrera has been running the bases. Getting from home to second even on a hard-hit ball has looked like more of a challenge for him lately. Of course, it should be noted that the Tigers were in control in the Central throughout September, clinching the division title in the fourth-to-last game of the season. Detroit didn't need Cabrera at full speed. ''The injury is still there,'' Leyland said. ''I think some days it's worse than others.'' After the Tigers clinched, Cabrera had four hits in a two-game span at Miami. ''This time of year it gets late real fast, but I really like the way he's swinging the bat right now,'' Leyland said. ''I think his timing is back pretty darn good.'' Cabrera hopes so. He may end up winning a second straight MVP award despite his slow September, but what matters now is whether he is healthy enough to help Detroit return to the World Series after the Tigers made it there and lost in 2012. ''I'm feeling good. I'm feeling ready to go,'' he said. ''No time to think what happened in the past. We need to keep positive and try to be ready to play.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Rick Pitino says school should be penalized, 'but not this team'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban defends hack-a-player strategy

Jameis Winston awarded Pepsi NFL rookie of the Year

Trade Rumors: Clippers ‘reluctant’ to deal injured Blake Griffin

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

$40,000 in Super Bowl tickets stolen from San Francisco hotel

Rams fan makes Super Bowl commercial ripping Stan Kroenke

Panthers LB wants 'clown' Rodney Harrison off the air

Jason Reid: Tom Brady will play at least three more years

Kirk Cousins says he has ‘very good relationship’ with RG3

Super Bowl 50 ticket prices are insane

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker