Miguel Cabrera hints that the grind may be pushing him to the end of playing days
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera is one of, if not the, most fearsome right-handed hitters of this generation, that is not up for debate. Sure, Albert Pujols deserves a mention in the conversation but nobody has been a more complete hitter than Miggy in the past 20 years or so.
Cabrera, 39, is currently playing in what is his 20th season in the big leagues, a feat that is rarely seen anymore in today’s game. He recently told Evan Petzold of Detroit Free Press that his playing days may be coming to an end soon, as the daily grind is beginning to catch up with him.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera may be making retirement decision soon
Cabrera is one of the oldest players in the league right now, currently sitting in the 11th spot on the list of oldest active players.
A surefire Hall of Famer when all is said and done, it’s not a surprise that over 2,675 games and 11,000 plate appearances are beginning to catch up with the veteran. He had arguably the most dominant stretch of play the game has ever seen from 2008-2016.
In that time alone, Miggy hit 308 home runs, drove in 1,030 batters and had an OPS+ of 161, all of which are just crazy talk. This goes without mentioning the fact that he had a .325 batting average over those nine seasons, won the AL MVP twice, and won the game’s first Triple Crown since the late 1960s.
The list of accolades goes on and on for Cabrera. All of the trophies aside, he is a member of the exclusive 3,000 hit club and the 500 home run club. He will ultimately come close to the highly elusive 2,000 RBI club but is likely to call it a career before he reaches the goal, as he is still 160 RBI away.
Over the past handful of seasons, Cabrera has begun to show his age quite a bit. In 2017, just one season after hit 38 home runs and posting a .316 batting average and 155 OPS+, he managed to play in just 130 games, hitting 16 home runs and posting a 93 OPS+, the lowest of his career to that point.
Injuries have begun to eat away at the aging legend, as he has missed time due to a multitude of injuries since the 2017 season. In 2017, it was a combination of back stiffness, groin strains and herniated discs in his back that limited him to just 130 games. In 2018, it was a combination of hamstring strains and biceps injuries. You get the point.
In what could be his last season in the bigs, Miggy had the honor of being selected to the All-Star Game one last time alongside Pujols thanks to the Legend Picks commissioner Rob Manfred was able to make for this year’s contest. This was the 12th ASG selection of Cabrera’s storied career and represented one of the bigger feel-good moments of the year so far.
If this is the last season of his career, Miguel Cabrera will go out as one of the best baseball players of all time. Regardless of the evidence of his aging and his durability going downhill, he gave it his all every single day and will forever be one of the most respected and well-liked players to ever play the game.