Detroit Tigers: Why Miguel Cabrera Should Not Rest Down the Stretch
Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter on the planet and is in a league of his own this season.
There's no reason the Detroit Tigers should keep him out of the lineup the next couple weeks.
Cabrera has been forced to miss eight games this season due to various injuries and pundits have debated whether the Tigers should give the defending Triple Crown and MVP winner a few days off down the stretch.
But you cannot justify sitting down the best hitter in baseball during the most crucial stretch of the season.
The last time Cabrera missed a game was Aug. 3.
Since then, he's batted .359 with a .433 on-base percentage, 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 92 at-bats through 23 games.
The Tigers have gone 14-9 in that span, with seven of those wins coming by two runs or less.
Detroit is only 5.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians with 31 games left in the season, and the American League Central race is far from over.
Detroit, Cleveland and the Kansas City Royals are all above .500 this season and the Tigers play Cleveland and Kansas City a combined nine more times this season. The Tigers are also entrenched in a tough series with the Oakland Athletics and have the first-place Boston Red Sox looming.
The Tigers are 7-1 without Cabrera in the lineup this season, but he's shown that he can continue to dominate despite small, lingering issues that may be bothering him day-to-day.
Cabrera at 70 percent is a much better option than anyone else at the hot corner at 100 percent.
Detroit does not want to have to travel to Tampa Bay or Boston this postseason in search of back-to-back World Series berths. It needs to lock up the best record in the AL and ensure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Among AL teams, the Tigers have the second-best record at home this season at 41-24, but away from Comerica Park, the Tigers are 36-30.
If you take out Cabrera, who makes everyone around him better, there is a gaping hole opened in the middle of the lineup.
I agree that the Tigers should sit him for a game or two if he wants—if they have home field locked up with a few games to go in the regular season—but not a minute before that is ensured.
Cabrera is too valuable to be watching games in September from the bench.
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