Detroit Tigers and Venezuela star Miguel Cabrera was ruled out for the remainder of Thursday's World Baseball Classic game against the Dominican Republic with back tightness, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Cabrera played just 119 games in 2015 but has been durable throughout his career, appearing in at least 150 contests in 11 of the last 13 seasons.
A long-term injury would be a significant blow to the Tigers, considering he is one of the best players in baseball. The 11-time All-Star and seven-time Silver Slugger was the American League MVP in 2012 and 2013. Cabrera notched a Triple Crown in 2012 with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI and followed that with a .348 batting average, 44 home runs and 137 RBI the next year.
Cabrera brings a valuable combination of average and power to the lineup on a daily basis, but the Tigers have options were he to miss time. They can turn to Victor Martinez or Andrew Romine at first base, although that would remove Martinez's powerful bat from the designated hitter role and force them to play someone else there.
Fortunately for Detroit and Venezuela in the immediate future, Nightengale said it was just back tightness, because it is nearly impossible to replicate his production at the plate.