Frederlin Castro | @ fr3djcd
Miguel Cabrera played his 126th game of the season on Monday and 43 times he has started at first base.
Injuries did not haunt Cabrera in 2021, and at 38, Cabrera stands firm.
Manager AJ Hinch and the rest of the Tigres’ training staff also take their hats off to Cabrera’s resistance. Hinch has put together a weekly schedule for Cabrera, strategically incorporating rest days, usually alongside the team’s rest days, to give him a two-day break. The only time he had to deviate from the set plan was during Cabrera’s hunt for the 500 home runs, when he included him in the lineup every day until he reached them.
“He knocked on wood, but there were only really one or two moments where he physically wasn’t able to do his part,” Hinch said. “He has responded very well to our programming. I have played with him quite a bit at first base, probably more than people could have imagined. I wanted to play with him in every home game, I want Tigers fans to see him. “.
The numbers speak
Producing also puts him in a good place mentally, and since the All-Star break, Cabrera has been one of the team’s most consistent hitters., with a rate of .286 / .346 / .452 with an OPS of .799. He has had nine doubles, eight home runs and 43 runs.
His 75 RBIs are the team’s second-most and his 118 hits are the fourth-most.
“He’s had to struggle,” Hinch said. “It has not been easy for him. Especially the daytime games, with the preparation that he carries out to be able to go out and play. It has been very good and the production has been very pleasant with the numbers that change on the board. I am proud of him “.
Only the coaches and doctors fully know what Cabrera has to go through on a daily basis to stay in the lineup. It is not the type of information that they make public.
“It’s every day and it’s a couple of hours getting him ready to play,” Hinch said. “Especially for day games, that’s why playing him at first base in day games is difficult. That’s probably not going to happen for the rest of his career. But you don’t want me to talk to you about what to do. to play. Just show up, smile and play. It’s not like old school, showing up an hour and a half before the game, having breakfast, getting into the cage and going to play. It’s a pretty rigorous process. “
Cabrera entered the game on Monday, September 27, with 16 hits of 3,000 in his career and four doubles of 600. Hinch said he learned his lesson from the chase for the 500 home runs. You’ll hit those marks when you hit them. He still plans to give him a couple of days off on the season-ending trip to Minneapolis and Chicago.
“I told him if he got nine hits back in a row, he could play the chain,” Hinch joked.
When told the Tigers open next season on the road, Hinch only denied with
“I’m not going to sit him down for that first road trip,” he said. “Breaking news”.