Detroit Tigers fans, and the baseball world at large, are still aglow after Miguel Cabrera hit his historic 500th home run last Sunday in Toronto.
They spent the previous week packing Comerica Park and breathlessly hanging on every Miguel Cabrera swing, only for the moment to happen 230 miles (390 kilometers) away. But, at least it was a big hit in what turned out to be another series win for a team that has been surprisingly solid for the last four months.
And one of the most pleasant surprises in this run of quality baseball has been Miguel Cabrera himself. Before the season we wrote about the Tigers facing the prospect of cutting Miguel Cabrera one day, and that possibility looked more like an inevitability after he hit just .183 with five extra-base hits through May.
But, since June 1st Miguel Cabrera has been a perfectly cromulent big-league hitter, batting .283/.339/.442 in a span of 62 games. That’s definitely not prime Miggy, but it has been good enough for a 112 wRC+ and a positive WAR. You can win games with a player like that. In fact, his batting line is practically identical to Akil Baddoo’s (.284/.335/.443) in the same span.
There’s no guarantee Miguel Cabrera continues to perform at this level, but thankfully this doesn’t look like a Chris Davis situation. Cabrera is still under contract for two more seasons, but now it seems likely he’ll find a way to stay useful until the deal is finished.
And if that’s the case, he’s going to set a few more milestones along the way. We’ll be honest, none of them are quite as cool as hitting 500 homers, but they’ll still be fun to track. Let’s start with the big, obvious one: