The 3000 Club: Miguel Cabrera

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Looking for a recap of the past week in Major League Baseball? Welcome to the Week that Was, where we revisit the league’s top performances, emerging storylines, and much more.

Saturday was a day for an incredible milestone as Miguel Cabrera reached 3,000 career hits. The Tigers slugger’s 3000th was a single to right field off right-hander Antonio Senzatela, in Saturday’s matchup versus the Colorado Rockies. Upon reaching first base, Cabrera was greeted with an embrace by former teammate and current Rockies infielder Jose Iglesias.

Cabrera’s single was historic for a handful of reasons: the 39-year-old joins Albert Pujols as the only other active member of the 3,000-hit club, and the 33rd major leaguer in history to reach that milestone. He’s also the first Venezuelan player to reach 3,000 hits, and the seventh player in MLB history with both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits to his name. He also now joins esteemed company in Willie Mays and Henry Aaron, as players with 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, and a .300 average.

One of the best hitters of his generation, the 11-time all-star adds this new accolade to a triple crown, four batting titles, seven silver slugger awards, two MVP awards, and a 2003 World Series title. In his impressive 20-year major league tenure, he carries a .310/.387/.532 triple-slash line. Reaching 3,000 hits is a monumental and rare accomplishment, and is a feather in the cap of an already decorated and storied career.

Notable Performances

This column - or the writer of this column at least, can’t seem to get enough of Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki. Suzuki’s 3-for-4 performance on Saturday included three runs scored and a stolen base in the Cubs’ 21-0 walloping of the Pittsburgh Pirates in what was the Bucs’ worst loss in franchise history. This week, Suzuki’s nine-game hit streak ended on Tuesday, where he went 0-1 but was being pitched to rather carefully - he reached base via walks three times. Suzuki currently leads the major leagues in OBP (.517) and intentional walks (2).

On Saturday, Ty France went 5-for-6 with a home run and five RBI. The Mariners ultimately enjoyed a 13-7 victory over the Royals. France has been seeing the ball incredibly well in these first few weeks of MLB action, including an incredible .523 wOBA on fastballs. With this five hit performance, he’s now hitting .356/.441/.610 with four homers and 17 RBI.

Marlins outfielder Jesus Sanchez is on a multi-hit game tear – he went 2-for-3 on Thursday versus the Cardinals, including a solo homer, three runs scored. He also drew a walk. Sanchez’s solo home run on Thursday was off Aaron Brooks, to lead off the first inning. The outfielder has now posted multi-hit efforts in six of his last eight games, and the numbers are proof in the pudding: he carries a .340/.386/.623 triple-slash line across 57 plate appearances.

Sean Murphy might have broken the internet last week, but he’s also been tearing the cover off the ball: Murphy is swinging a hot bat right now – a .816 OPS with three home runs and 11 RBI in 64 plate appearances going into Sunday afternoon. When the A’s catcher hits the ball, he absolutely clobbers it - he currently touts a 54.8 HardHit% and has already reached a max exit velocity of 114 MPH.

Shohei Ohtani came within 11 outs of perfection on Wednesday night against the Astros, retiring the first 16 batters he faced. He matched a career-high 12 strikeouts, inducing 20 swinging strikes. The whiffs were enough to cap the performance at an astronomical (no pun intended) 47 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs). If strong pitching wasn’t enough, the two-way superstar also went 2-for-4 with a two-run double.

Injury Report

White Sox manager Tony La Russa told reporters on Saturday that outfielder Eloy Jiménez's hamstring injury is "significant." He left the game on a cart after attempting to beat out a grounder. The team has given a preliminary estimate of 6-8 weeks for the 25-year-old’s return, but an approximate update is expected upon further examination in Chicago. Jiménez missed a good portion of the beginning of the 2021 season with a torn pectoral muscle after attempting to rob a home run. Andrew Vaughn spent a good chunk of time in left field in Eloy’s stead, and will probably assume that role once more.

A gut-punch for the Orioles and their fans - righty ace John Means will be undergoing Tommy John surgery, Means himself announced via his personal Twitter account on Saturday. “After multiple MRIs, it’s confirmed that I need Tommy John surgery,” Means wrote. “I’m obviously disappointed, but more motivated than ever. In the meantime, I look forward to watching what this team can do this year. I’ll be back, Go O’s.” Means will be out for the remainder of the 2022 season, and probably longer.

Michael Conforto had shoulder surgery last week, and will not play this season, according to his agent Scott Boras. The outfielder was a free agent in 2022 and likely to get a multi-year deal, but he landed on his right shoulder during a workout in January, and wanted to return to 100 percent before resuming contract negotiations. There should still be interest in Conforto in the offseason, so we’ll be sure to hear his name pop back up once again.

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Honor Roll

Garrett Whitlock on Saturday (first career start: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K on Saturday), Mookie Betts (2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB on Friday), Chris Flexen (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K on Friday), Nathaniel Lowe (3-for-5, 2B, RBI, 1 R on Thursday), Joe Ryan (​​6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB on Thursday), Brandon Woodruff (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K on Wednesday), Freddie Freeman (3-for-4, R, HR (2), 2 RBI on Wednesday), Joe Musgrove (6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K on Tuesday), Wander Franco (2-for-4, 2 H, 2 RBI on Tuesday), Dylan Bundy (5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K on Monday), Christian Yelich (2-for-3, HR, 2B, BB, 4 RBI on Monday)

Batting Around

If you aren’t following Joey Votto on Instagram, you’re missing out. The Reds first baseman has taken to social media to promote what may be a budding career in filmmaking. Votto’s last Instagram post features a questionable Hulk impression where he dons a wig while covered in green body paint. The credit reel reveals that Votto’s creative vision is mostly all his own, as he writes, directs, acts, and even does costuming and set design. While we aren’t exactly sure what Votto is doing with his social media strategy, this column is always in support of players being their true, unashamed, authentic selves on the Internet.

That concludes this Week that Was - please join us next week as we once again revisit the past week in Major League Baseball.