The Detroit Tigers got some big offensive help from veteran Miguel Cabrera in Tuesday’s 9-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Comerica Park.
Any Detroit Tigers fans who were worried that a more permanent shift to DH might slow down Miguel Cabrera were proven wrong by the veteran’s performance on Tuesday night. Cabrera welcomed his new role as a seemingly permanent DH with a stellar performance on the same day in which he was told by Tigers team doctors that “chronic changes” to his knee would shift the focus of his career.
Miggy went 3-4 on Tuesday with five RBI hitting as DH in the cleanup spot. The big highlight of the night for Cabrera and the entire Detroit Tigers team came in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded as Miguel launched a grand slam to left field giving the Tigers a 6-2 lead and ultimately helping propel them to victory.
That grand slam is Cabrera’s third home run of the season and five RBI are the most in a game so far in 2019 for the 36-year-old. With a performance like this, having Cabrera in the DH spot on a regular basis can pretty much only do good for him and the entire Detroit lineup.
Coming into Tuesday, Cabrera had previously started 125 career games at DH with 53 RBI and a .270 BA when playing as the designated hitter. The two-time AL MVP already has a decent track record as a DH, and now can focus more solely on helping out the Tigers’ offense in his new role.
Although the ruptured bicep that ended Cabrera’s 2018 season did come while swinging the bat, that major injury did raise concerns about his longterm health going into the later stages of his career. With his knee now being the present major health issue, staying out of the field by becoming a regular DH should help calm some nerves when it comes to Miggy’s health.
Taking Cabrera out of the infield does help reduce concerns about another possible major injury in the future. Also, the opening at first base allows for the opportunity to more frequently insert guys like Brandon Dixon and John Hicks, two hitters that have show promise of productivity this season, into the lineup on a regular basis.
Frankly, I think we all saw this day coming for Miguel Cabrera. With his age and body catching up to him, the time has now come for Cabrera to enter the full-time DH phase of his career that it seems safe to say we all pretty much knew was going to happen at some point. If Tuesday’s performance is any indicator of how Miggy will respond to that role, then Tigers fans might be in for a treat.