Just one week ago, the fall of Miguel Cabrera was the topic of discussion among Detroit Tigers fans.
In a post dated May 15, I asked: “Are we fans seeing the decline of the once Mighty Miggy?”
And, I thought we were. Now, no.
The Mighty Miguel Cabrera is not on the decline, at least not now. The greatest hitter on the planet still is the greatest hitter on the planet.
As of May 15, Cabrera was giving the team and the fans cause to be concerned. He was having difficulty getting the ball out of the infield. He was not coming through in clutch situations where the team really needed his bat.
Interestingly, May 15 seems to have been the turning point where the Once-Mighty Miggy turned the corner and became Mighty again. This was the day that the Tigers defeated the Baltimore Orioles and began their journey back from the depths below .500.
Don’t get me wrong, all of the Tigers have not hit their peak forms, but the team is currently sitting at .500 – four games out of first place in the ever-so-tough AL Central. There is still plenty of work to do, but now that the face of the team has shown that his bat still works – it should not be long before the rest of the team gets those swings going, too.
Since May 15, Miguel Cabrera has been practically untouchable. In fact, his last strikeout was on May 13. Including May 15, he has scored 10 of the team’s 59 runs. Of those 10 runs, 6 have been in the form of home runs. He has 10 RBIs and 16 hits. On May 15, his slash line was .286/.363/.464 with an OPS of .827. As of today, it is .327/.401/.588 with an OPS of .989.
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As Cabrera continues to swing his bat with power and force, he has and will continue to add to his milestones and records. Yesterday, in the game against the Philadelphia Phillies, he did hit his 500th double. This ties him with former John Olerud and former Tiger Goose Goslin. For perspective, Tiger great Al Kaline hit 498 doubles and retired designated hitter David Ortiz currently has 603.
The Triple Crown winner, two-time MVP, and owner of several batting awards continues to move up on the all-time greats lists. Now that he can cross off the number 500 in regards to doubles, he can focus on his next accomplishment: 1500 RBIs. Once he reaches this number, which shouldn’t take him too long – he only has to knock in 27 more runs. He joins the exclusive company of men like Joe DiMaggio (1537), Al Kaline (1582), and Mickey Mantle (1509).
Cabrera is also 44 walks away from earning his 1000th walks. If he continues to hit at his current pace, that milestone could be quickly reached by intentional walks. The Big Man is also 18 games away from playing in his 2000th game.
Cabrera does have one milestone that fans would like to see postponed as long as possible. With big swings come big misses, so Cabrera is 73 strikeouts away from earning 1500 Ks (whether swinging or not). Just for the record, Justin Upton needs slightly more than 240 to reach the same milestone. Some think he, Upton, could reach the milestone this season.
There are a handful of other Detroit Tigers players who are due to reach important milestones, too. J.D. Martinez is five home runs away from 100. Both Ian Kinsler and Justin Upton are just six and eight home runs, respectively, away from 200. Kinsler is also 18 runs away from 1000 runs.
It is also important to remember that Justin Verlander just reached his 2000th strikeout a few games ago. Even though facing 9000 batters is not a recognized milestone, Verlander has faced 8997 batters as of publication.
Jordan Zimmermann is 13 starts away from reaching his 200th. And, Francisco Rodriguez has a few milestones within reach. He only needs one more save to reach 400. While K-Rod is nowhere near the 652 saves that Mariano Rivera has, he is only 23 saves away from moving into the top five all-time saves. K-Rod is also 23 games away from pitching in 900 games.