Miguel Cabrera has three hits (all singles) in September

David Brown
Big League Stew

The Detroit Tigers obviously don't read The Stew. Just nine days ago, Mike Oz penned a post saying slugger Miguel Cabrera needs to eschew the Triple Crown race, and even the pennant race in the AL Central, and rest his weary body. But have Cabrera or manager Jim Leyland done it? Not really.

The proof is in the pudding: As Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out, Cabrera is 3 for 22 in September, with all three hits going for singles. That's a .136 batting average and slugging percentage. It's better than getting a guy from the stands, but it's not better than Don Kelly. It's also a small sample size, and I think Cameron partially is trolling people regarding the MVP voting of 2013 as it related to September performance, but we know that Cabrera is hurting. His abdomen, his hip, something else. A combination. He and manager Jim Leyland are doing a disservice to the Tigers by playing Cabrera.

Leyland did rest Cabrera for three games Aug. 31-Sept. 2, but he's been out there ever since — except for Monday, most notably, when he was ejected in the first inning. Chris Sale joked about it, but the umpire was doing the Tigers a favor.

Leyland seems to be worried about the Tigers keeping their division lead, and it has dropped from 8 1/2 games on Sept. 2 to 6 1/2 on Thursday, and it was as low as 4 1/2 games earlier this week. So he's probably spooked about that. And he's giving us the old, "If a player says he can play, I believe him," spiel. Well, Leyland has to use some of his accumulated wisdom, take a step back, and realize that Cabrera can't be Cabrera in his physical condition. It might not get the Tigers now, but it's going to assuming they make the playoffs. Miguel Cabrera making copious outs and hitting dinky singles in the ALDS is a recipe for defeat.

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