Throughout the last two months of the regular season, Detroit Tigers‘ third baseman Miguel Cabrera was in and out of the lineup.
The 2012 Triple Crown winner and league MVP has missed part of games (and several full games) with a bad back, a sore left hip flexor, a strained lower abdomen and a strained groin.
“He’s not 100 percent,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Noah Trister of the Associated Press. “He’s been playing in a lot of pain. He’s a real tough guy. I think if anybody knew the pain he’s playing in, they probably wouldn’t believe it.”
Obviously, the Tigers, who won the American League Central for the third straight season, need Cabrera back if they plan to to reach their ultimate goal of winning the World Series.
Cabrera had another monster year, again leading the AL in batting (.348). His 44 home runs were second only to first baseman Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, who hit 53 dingers. Cabrera finished with one less RBI (137) than Davis (138). Cabrera had an on-base percentage of .442 and slugged .636.
“I’m feeling good. I’m feeling ready to go,” Cabrera told reporters. “No time to think what happened in the past. We need to keep positive and try to be ready to play.”
The Tigers will travel to Oakland to take on the Athletics in game one of the AL Division Series Friday at 9:37 pm EST.