With Opening Day fast approaching, Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is in line to reach 2,000 career hits before the weather in Detroit gets warm.
The two-time reigning American League MVP has 1,995 hits through 11 seasons, leaving him just five shy of a milestone that 276 other players have accomplished.
Given his all-world capabilities at the plate, Cabrera figures to reach 2,000 during the season's first week, and he could even get there by the second or third game. Come to think of it, since it's Cabrera we're talking about, would anybody really be surprised if he piles up all five hits in his first game?
Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields—who will face the Tigers on Opening Day—might have something to say about that, but the right-hander probably wouldn't say it to Miggy's face.
Shields has been one of the better pitchers in the American League for three years now, yet Cabrera sees a punching bag where the rest of us see an imposing workhorse. His 40 career at-bats against Shields have yielded 17 hits (.425 batting average), including two home runs and six doubles, not to mention four walks and just six strikeouts.
Unquestionably the game's preeminent hitter, Cabrera will cruise past 2,000 hits without a second thought, his eyes likely on a World Series and bigger milestones.
As evidenced by its 276 members and counting, the 2,000-hit club isn't nearly as exclusive as the 3,000-hit club, which is comprised of just 28 players.
No 30-year-old can be considered a shoo-in to pile up 1,005 more hits in his career, but Cabrera is awfully close. With nine consecutive 180-hit seasons to his name, Miggy's ETA for 3,000 is 2019 or 2020.