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.
Tigers' Justin Verlander: This gem not vintage, 'this is the pitcher I am' - Detroit Free Press, Anthony Fenech
Verlander has been great his past couple starts. He would like to get rid of the "vintage" tag and replace it with something in the present tense.
By any measure, Avila just not that good anymore - Detroit News, Kurt Mensching
For years Alex Avila has been the kind of player who divided the Tigers' fanbase about his usefulness. Kurt profiles the 2015 version of Avila, with alarming results.
Miguel Cabrera passes Andres Galarraga as Venezuela’s all-time RBI king - The Oakland Press, Matthew Mowery
I think we can remove any doubt that Miguel Cabrera is going to go down as the best hitter ever produced by the country of Venezuela.
In-Market Streaming Of MLB Games Coming To Some Markets In 2016 - Forbes, Maury Brown
Good news, but blackouts are still in play. Meaning I still have to listen to Hawk when the Tigers are playing in Chicago. Which means I will still be muting the games.
John Cena and the Yankees surprise son of Charleston shooting victim - SBNation.com, James Dator
This is an amazing gesture by Cena and the Yankees. This will hit you RIGHT in the feels.
The Nationals might be screwed for next season, too - SBNation.com, Grant Brisbee
Are you in the mood for some fearmongering? Sure you are. Here's how to feel even worse about the 2015 Nationals.