Despite another impressive first half, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera told USA Today that he’s still not 100 percent after recovering from a groin tear that slowed him at the end of the 2013 campaign.
“There are times when I feel good, but there are always muscles that are tightening, muscles that are not functioning properly,” Cabrera said in Spanish. “It’s part of the process. The same thing is happening to Justin Verlander, but the difference is he pitches every five days, so you don’t see it as frequently.
Cabrera, who is batting cleanup for the American League in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, has been named to five consecutive All-Star teams, has won the American League MVP in each of the past two seasons and could very well eclipse 130 RBIs for the third straight year if he continues his offensive production from the first half.
So far in 2014, the 2012 Triple Crown winner is batting .306/.364/.534, which is an ‘off year’ for Cabrera, who has 74 RBIs but only 14 home runs at the break – roughly half his total from this point a year ago.
The 31-year-old has become the offensive staple in the heart of the Tigers’ lineup – formally under Jim Leyland and now under first-year manager Brad Ausmus, who has led the club to a first place finish in the division through the season’s first half.
Cabrera is signed through the 2023 season, all but ensuring the slugger, who has 379 career home runs, retires as a Tiger.
“But as he and I talked about, we’re never going to offer any excuses for our performance. We always want to be out on the field and compete, and I think that’s the most important thing we can do, compete and try to get past this tough time. And the main thing is we’re in first place.”