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Sport Loss of Miguel Cabrera could accelerate Tigers' sell-off

18:52  13 june  2018
18:52  13 june  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Miguel Cabrera 's first-ever trip to the disabled list could not only put the Tigers ' season in jeopardy, but a third lower-body injury in as many years could spell trouble for one of the game's best hitters as well.

Losing Miguel Cabrera will hurt the Tigers , but can we quantify how much? Some people are even asking whether the Tigers ought to chuck it in for 2015 and start selling off expensive pieces that they're going to lose to free agency anyway.

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In the micro of the 2018 season, Miguel Cabrera's season-ending arm injury hurts the Tigers little. They weren't expected to contend this year in the weak AL Central, or to even be as competitive as they have been (a 31-37 record through Tuesday).

In the macro, it helps general manager Al Avila a lot. He now has more cover to accelerate a summer sell-off and move the rebuild forward.

Detroit's players and first-year manager Ron Gardenhire have been doing their best to convince Avila to delay rolling the tank through Comerica Park. Decent starting pitching, solid offensive production from Nicholas Castellanos, Jeimer Candelario and Leonys Martin, and Shane Greene's work as a closer have kept them close to the first-place Indians.

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Detroit Tigers ' Miguel Cabrera is likely headed to the disabled list based off of moves made. The official decision will happen Friday afternoon. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. Detroit Tigers ' Miguel Cabrera could be headed to

And Miguel Cabrera doesn’t want to see the negativity. You can ’t wrap players in bubbles, and it comes with the territory, Cabrera understands that. Tigers prospect Kyle Funkhouser strikes out 6 in Erie SeaWolves loss .

They even managed to go 15-14 in May while Cabrera was out with hamstring and back issues. John Hicks, a journeyman converted catcher, was productive as Miggy's fill-in (.304/.345/.451, three home runs in 110 plate appearances). Gardenhire told reporters Tuesday that Hicks will fill in once more.

MLB POWER RANKINGS: Tigers in bottom 10

But, as catcher James McCann said Tuesday after the Tigers' 6-4 loss to the Twins, a 3 1/2-month injury is a lot tougher to negotiate.

"You can't replace a guy like that," McCann said, per the Detroit Free Press. "What he brings to the table, as a hitter in our lineup (Cabrera began Tuesday with a .301/.394/.451 slash line), but also as just a veteran in the clubhouse. You can't replace it. Hicks did a good job early in the year, stepping in and filling his void, but you're talking about (a) seasonlong void. It's different than just a couple weeks."

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For Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera , this requires little in the way of a stretched imagination—he literally grew up on the In the meantime, Miguel accelerated his baseball education. Miguel had a wonderful feel for the strike zone, could spray the ball to all fields and responded well in the clutch.

Cabrera is expected to take a day of rest on Thursday while the Tigers finish out a series against the Angels. He could then be activated off the disabled list ahead of Friday Miggy goes 2-for-4 in loss to Red Sox Wed. Jun 7 - 12:38 AM. Miguel Cabrera reaches twice in return Friday Jun 1 - 10:52 PM.

If Avila sees the Cabrera injury as the cue to consider the season over, he can start offering in earnest these half-dozen players to contenders:

RHP Michael Fulmer. There was trade talk regarding Fulmer last year, and Cabrera's absence should intensify the chatter. Fulmer is a 25-year-old staff leader who can't become a free agent until after the 2022 season. There is, however, a red flag: He had elbow surgery last September and his 2018 numbers have not been good (4.40 ERA/4.27 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 2.30 K/BB).

RHP Mike Fiers. Fiers signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Tigers last offseason after the Astros made him a free agent. He has been as advertised: a mid-rotation starter who can work deep into games. Fiers' 4.01 ERA, aided by a sharp improvement in his control (1.9 BB/9 against a 2.8 career ratio), is right in line with his 4.14 career mark.

LHP Francisco Liriano. Liriano (hamstring) is expected to return from the disabled list this weekend. That would give him about six weeks to audition for pitching-needy clubs. Like Fiers, he has been serviceable this year (3.90 ERA/4.96 FIP, 1.21 WHIP), although his strikeouts have been down (7.0 per 9). He's making just $4 million on a one-year contract.

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Cabrera is expected to take a day of rest on Thursday while the Tigers finish out a series against the Angels. He could then be activated off the disabled list ahead of Friday Miggy goes 2-for-4 in loss to Red Sox Wed. Jun 7 - 12:38 AM. Miguel Cabrera reaches twice in return Friday Jun 1 - 10:52 PM.

Best- Selling Books. Corrections. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera watches his AL-lead-tying 43rd home run in a 6-4 win Saturday vs. the Twins. Cabrera 's homer proved to be a big one after Ryan Doumit hit a grand slam off of Joaquin Benoit in the eighth.

RHP Shane Greene. The 29-year-old Greene could be an intriguing deadline option. He's 15 for 18 in save opportunities this year despite a 4.02 ERA and he has two years of club control after this season. The production and contract should warrant at least a few trade discussions.

CF Leonys Martin. The veteran has bounced back from a lost 2017 season with the Mariners and Cubs. He's playing every day — in fact, most of the Tigers' regulars are playing every day, because the bench is thin — and producing (.805 OPS, nine home runs, three defensive runs saved). Even better, he's making just $1.75 million this year and will be arbitration-eligible in 2019. Teams hunting for outfield depth should be calling Avila.

SS Jose Iglesias. The defense-first Iglesias has been on the market for months. Avila told reporters in January (per CBS Detroit) that he expected to trade the pending free agent this season. Iglesias, 28, remains a below-average hitter (.305 OBP, 86 OPS+), so teams better be in love with the glove.

That leaves Castellanos, Candelario, closer-in-waiting Joe Jimenez, left-hander Matthew Boyd and maybe McCann (Avila will listen on him, too) to help form the cornerstone once the razing is finished. With Cabrera done for the year, the bulldozer is closer to getting cranked up.

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You can quantify what Miguel Cabrera means to the Tigers with his bat, but what gets overlooked is the impact of his defense at first base, his baseball IQ and just his all-around presence on Four of the five losses were by two runs or less. They were walked- off once and lost two others when they led late.

This week’s question: Would you be OK with the Tigers trading either Miguel Cabrera or Justin He is coming off a Cy Young caliber year and will be 34 next season. Selling high now for young Patrick OKennedy: Probably not, because it is very unlikely that the Tigers could get as much talent in return.

Related slideshow: 2018 MLB season (Provided by photo services)

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