CHICAGO — They send e-mails. They call sports radio shows. They tweet.
They say that Miguel Cabrera is washed up or over the hill. That he is injured, in decline, incapable of producing the numbers he has in the past.
They are wrong, in all likelihood.
The Detroit Tigers first baseman started showing signs of swinging out of his midseason slump with two hits against the Twins on Wednesday and took an even bigger step in Thursday night’s rain-shortened win over the White Sox.
Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a game-winning home run. His solo shot in the fifth inning was the difference in the Tigers’ 2-1 win.
Manager Brad Ausmus could see it in batting practice.
“It looked like his swing was easy again for him,” Ausmus said. “It didn’t look like there was a lot of effort and he took it right in the game.”
His only out? A laser line drive to Chicago second baseman Brett Lawrie.
Cabrera’s home run off right-hander James Shields went to left-centerfield. It was his 19th of the season and first since June 29 – a span of 16 games.
Since that home run, he is hitting .250. He had a grand total of one extra-base hit – a double – in all of July before the home run. This season, he is hitting .292, certainly low by Cabrera’s future Hall of Fame standards. He has eclipsed his home run total from 2015, when he was hobbled by injuries and still won his fourth American League batting title, hitting .338.
Cabrera’s recent struggles have been noticeable, and the Tigers’ offense has gone south recently with them. The fact that Victor Martinez has also been struggling only added to the problem that came to a head recently when the Tigers scored four runs in three games against the terrible Twins.
“Those are the guys that can produce runs,” Ausmus said. “If they’re hitting the ball well, if they’re getting their hits, they’re usually pushing runners across the plate.”
Cabrera has no documented injuries. Certainly, these days, at age 32, he is close to 100% health rather than at 100% full health.
Said second baseman Ian Kinsler: “I think he had three at-bats tonight and he hit all three balls hard. It’s just a matter of time. He’s the greatest hitter for a reason and he’s going to continue to swing.”
[Source:- Detroit Free Dress]