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Detroit Tigers: It’s impossible to know if Miguel Cabrera is done

Apr 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) reacts after striking out against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 29, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) reacts after striking out against the Chicago White Sox during the fourth inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The most paralyzing question among the Detroit Tigers fanbase, Is Miguel Cabrera finished?

The greatest hitter in Detroit Tigers history has once again started the season in a funk, he’s done this before, as recently as 2020. What seems uncertain is will Cabrera be able to find his timing and become a contributor to a lineup that desperately needs an offensive anchor. Let’s look at the numbers and the data to see what it tells us.

Currently, Cabrera is 6 for 61 and hitless in his last 26 at-bats with 13 strikeouts and one lonesome walk. He’s not making much contact and when he does, it’s not very solid.

Let’s examine some important hitting measurements.

Miguel Cabrera is struggling to hit the ball in the air, his GB% has gone from 44.9% in 2019, 42.6% in 2020 to 56.4% in 2021, his highest since 56.5%  in 2018 and almost 10% above his 45.3% career rate. Cabrera’s LD% has plummeted to 15.4% down from 35.5% in 2020 and 27.9% in 2019 and his Launch Angle is down to 8.3% from 12.1% in 2020 12.3% in 2019 and his career number of 11.9%.

What are all these numbers telling us, is it a slump or the end?  In my opinion, it’s a slump we have been here before, Miguel is 38 years old and beset with an endless series of injuries that have sapped him of consistency. But we have been here before, in fact, we were here just last summer.

In 2020 Cabrera began the season 4-for-30 then 6-for-36 which morphed into an 11-for-65 start, his AB looked the same as they do now,  a basic inability to recognize pitches mixed with little if any chance to square up velocity. In fact, I can remember wondering if he needed to see an ophthalmologist.

But suddenly things changed and good Miguel returned, from flared singles to right with 2 out and RISP to downright power surge with 4HR in his last 27 AB. Cabrera finished 2020 with a 298/368/471 slash in a 36/121 finish with 8 HR and 21 RBI.

So is Miguel finished, maybe, sometimes skills leave and never return, my guess, one morning he will wake up, hit a few line drives and his timing will be back and he will begin to show flashes that made him the greatest hitter in Detroit Tigers history.

In closing if Miguel Cabrera frustrates you, chill out, this is one of the worst Tigers teams in history, Cabrera is taking away AB from nobody important or developing, he has given his body to the game piece by piece, he has earned every dime the Illitch family agreed to pay him, he shows up every day without complaint, does he need the money, hell no he’s earned $317,973,111 in his career the last thing he needs is money.

Try and be better humans and appreciate greatness, it’s going to be gone soon.

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