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Detroit Tigers links: Let Miguel Cabrera play baseball!

The Tigers aren't making the playoffs, but that doesn't mean they need to shut down Miguel Cabrera for the season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the Tigers are only 4.5 games out of the wildcard, it is pretty obvious that the team will not be making the playoffs. The team is struggling in almost every aspect of the game and have 5 teams ahead of them for the last spot. Waving the white flag is an acceptable work out at this point for Tigers fans.

With this reality, many have wondered why Miguel Cabrera was brought back on the front end of his 6 to 8 week recovery projection. After Friday's performance, James Schmehl pondered why the Tigers were taking such an unnecessary risk with the franchise player. Granted we are operating under different conditions after Sunday's hitting display, but the uncertainty remains.

This is a question that non-competitive teams weigh with their injured players every year. The Miami Marlins are struggling with the decision right now as they debate shutting down Jose Fernandez. The issue is, when it is a star player, it's not simply a player preservation choice. There are numerous competing factors; attendance and revenue, players bonuses, manager job security, the clubhouse dynamics, etc. Players like Cabrera and Fernandez undoubtedly want to play, but Major League Baseball is also a business, one where owners will want to protect their "assets."

There is no easy answer. But pitching provides a much stickier situation with the frequency of Tommy John injuries and length that these injuries necessitate. With regards to Miguel Cabrera, I believe slotting him in at first entails much less risk. Cabrera has been to the DL a single time, and while age may eventually take its toll, he is in no way injury prone. It is easy in theory to say "just save him up," but that is a narrow view of how a major league team operates as a whole. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to be the one to tell Ian Kinsler that Miggy is sitting for three more weeks just because he "might get hurt."

Clearly the Tigers have taken the approach that when he is ready, he should play. This is the right idea for the team, the fans, and the organization as a whole. Let's get back to Miggy being Miggy.

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