With a hurt groin, Miguel Cabrera is out of the lineup for today's game against the Twins. It was a bit of a mystery when manager Jim Leyland pulled Cabrera from the game after the ninth inning during Saturday night's come-from-behind 12-inning, 7-6 victory. Not long after the Tigers announced Cabrera suffered a groin injury.
It's clear Cabrera is not feeling moving in a positive direction with his injury (or injuries). Against the White Sox, he was thrown out trying to turn a single into a double -- and it wasn't close. He can often be seen jogging around the bases, and generally looks in pain while he's doing so.
Leyland told the press during his postgame interview he wasn't sure what was wrong specifically, "but I don't think it's too good" (via MLive). Cabrera told the press he felt good for most of the game. "The last couple of innings, (it was) getting sore," he said (via MLive.)
Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand told Lynn Henning of the Detroit News that the injury is not a sports injury, contrary to some speculation. Cabrera has been checked for that already. "Miguel did a lot of running tonight," Rand told the News. "He scored from second base on a hit (Victor Martinez's ninth-inning double). He had soreness."
If Cabrera were diagnosed with a sports hernia , it would potentially be a devastating loss for the Tigers. Magglio Ordonez suffered that fate in 2005 and was told he'd miss 8-12 weeks after having surgery to correct it, according to an article by MLB.com's Jason Beck at that time. "A sports hernia occurs when contents of the abdomen push through a gap in the front lining of the abdominal wall, causing pain and swelling," Beck wrote. Ordonez returned after about 10 weeks and hit .312 for the season.
Cabrera has been playing through injuries for half the season. A reported hamstring injury in June was the first problem. The abdomen issues -- which likely are a driving factor behind the hernia speculation by some -- arrived in late July. However, the injury that seems to have played the key role in his struggles at the plate occurred Aug. 29.
Since returning to the lineup Aug. 3, Cabrera has hit .263/.409/.340. His OPS fell from 1.130 through August to .749 for the month of September. All signs of power seem to have disappeared. Cabrera has one double (Sept. 13) and one home run (Sept. 17) this month. He's basically become a singles hitter.
The Tigers could clinch the division today. Even without an Indians loss, they could clinch a playoff spot if the Rangers lose. Resting Cabrera may not solve all of his ills, but every game he plays seems like an invitation to lose his abilities in the postseason even more than they already have.