Taking a look at Miguel Cabrera's 2017 stats so far, it's clear something is wrong with the Detroit Tigers' slugger.
The former Triple Crown winner and American League MVP is only hitting .280 (good for most players, but not for Miggy) with six home runs and 31 RBI.
After Thursday's game, Cabrera revealed that he's been dealing with some significant injuries throughout the season that have sapped some of his power.
According to ESPN.com, Miggy has been dealing with back pain, an oblique strain, a groin strain and now a hip flexor. But, he said he's trying to keep a positive attitude and plans on playing through the pain:
"I've been struggling," Cabrera said. "But I always stay positive.
"I played with a broken foot. If I'm able to go out there and do my job, I'm going to do it."
Granted, Cabrera at 50 percent is still better than most MLB players at 100 percent, but all those injuries eventually have to take their toll on him. The Tigers are currently 31-34 on the season, but only trail the first-place Minnesota Twins by four games in the American League Central race, so they're still in the thick of things.
After launching a walk-off home run on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving the Tigers an exciting 5-3 win, Cabrera said he wasn't sure he had enough strength to put the ball in the stands, but was thrilled his back was able to hold up for the game-winning swing:
"The way it is going right now, I wasn't sure it was going to get out," Cabrera said. "I'm dealing with my back every day, but I still have to go out there and play hard."
Cabrera's heroics on Thursday drew the praise of the Tampa Bay manager, who said you can never take a pitch off against him, even if he's not at 100 percent:
"We all know what that man can do," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He can hit a homer at any time to any place in any ballpark."
If the Tigers start to fall in the standings, it wouldn't be surprising to see them give Cabrera a few days off in a row, but for now, they seem content to keep him in the lineup.
Thursday's home run was Cabrera's first since May 20, which is a clear sign that he's feeling the effects of his injury. If he continues to struggle at the plate, the Tigers may be forced to send him to the DL whether he wants to go or not.
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