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Should Miguel Cabrera take some time off?

Does Miguel Cabrera need to take some time off to rest? I'm not sold on that idea, but I don't want to see him step foot near first base again.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret that Miguel Cabrera was not playing at 100 percent of his normal ability through the stretch run last year. Hobbled by nagging injuries, Cabrera limped into the playoffs as arguably less than half of his normal self. From Aug. 27 until Sept. 28 — his last 25 games of the season — Cabrera hit .284/.396/.333 with only one home run and two extra-base hits. Even with his defense limited, he was the designated hitter in only one of those games.

This season is starting to showing shocking similarities.

Yes, I am aware that Cabrera hit two home runs yesterday afternoon. It was nice to be reminded of what an exceptional player he is, sometimes even when not fully healthy. But those two bombs were his first since August 2, capping off a month-long power outage that has contributed to the Tigers falling into second place behind the surging Kansas City Royals. During that span, Cabrera was hitting .248/345/.307 with only six extra-base hits.

During this year's streak he has served as the designated hitter only three times.

There are plenty of people calling for Cabrera to sit for an extend period of time. A week. Two weeks. The opposition will suggest that it would be very difficult to get into the postseason without someone like Cabrera in the middle of your lineup. I actually agree with that, but I also understand that there is little point to reaching the playoffs if your two-time MVP is only a fraction of what he could be.

Manager Brad Ausmus himself has even considered resting Cabrera for a few days in a row, although he doesn't believe that will do much good.

I don't have a strong opinion either way. I would like to see him get more rest, but when you're fighting for your life in the division, it's difficult to imagine Cabrera not taking his cuts. I am fully comfortable sitting on the fence and letting the Tigers' brass decide if he should play or not. What I find ridiculous, however, is Cabrera taking his position at first base every day. So, let's talk more about that.

Cabrera's value is in his bat. If he absolutely must be on the field, it would be for his presence in the batter's box and not manning first base. The Tigers have plenty of options to play first base, most obvious of them being Victor Martinez. Swapping the two players would allow Cabrera more rest throughout the game. It seems so simple.

The eye test suggests that Martinez is not as good defensively as Cabrera is at first base, but Cabrera is not exactly a gold-glove caliber defender himself. For their careers, Cabrera has a fielding percentage of .993 at first base. Martinez' is .992. Cabrera's UZR is -5.0, Martinez' is -2.4. Their respective Fan Scouting Report (FSR) scores are generally around zero, which is about league average.

If there's a difference in their defensive abilities, it's nominal at best. Beyond that, Donnie Kelly Baby can be used as a late-inning defensive replacement whenever needed. To me, there is no reason to risk Cabrera injuring his ankle or core muscle even further.

The last flare-up occurred on a swing, so it appears as though he is more likely to aggravate the injury when he is taking his cuts, but why risk any additional time or exertion?

The Tigers have six games remaining against the Indians, and more importantly, six games remaining against the Kansas City Royals. They will need their best hitter in the lineup in order to make a final push toward October baseball. But without Miguel Cabrera fully healthy, simply making the postseason might be the best this team can expect.