Tuesday was Miguel Cabrera’s 34th birthday. He is not old by any means, but not exactly young either. In coinciding news, Cabrera left Sunday’s game early with some back stiffness. Manager Brad Ausmus came to the rescue with a hot take.
Ausmus said he wouldn’t blame the WBC for the back issues. He said it’s “just a part of getting older.”
I also do not blame Miguel Cabrera for aging. Anyway, Cabrera was in the lineup on Tuesday but he will likely be given a few more off days than usual and removed at the slightest hint of an injury this season. Just something to look out for.
A solid day from Michael Fulmer on Tuesday was wasted by an entirely missing Detroit Tigers offense. Well, almost entirely missing...
It's your birthday? Treat yo self. pic.twitter.com/LD3PYPBntH— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 18, 2017
That was awesome, but otherwise, the offense outage is a little concerning. Here is hoping that J.D. Martinez brings some consistency when he returns soon.
Tip your waiter
Justin Verlander and nine earned runs do not often go in the same sentence unless that sentence also includes James Shields. Which is why there was a lot of consternation around sign stealing and pitch tipping after the Tigers’ loss on Saturday.
It’s just one loss, and James McCann dispelled the sign stealing rumors and generally closed the conversation:
"For a day where I thought he had his best stuff all season, they seemed to be on quite a few pitches," McCann said. "What that is, I don't know. We're going to study film and see."
But we think we’ve found the real cause.
These sign stealing accusations are BS. Execute your pitches better, Tigers. pic.twitter.com/EiKyvVdKQj— Bless You Boys (@blessyouboys) April 16, 2017
I’m a Kitty Cat
Checking on the minors
John Hicks has been scorching so far, giving the Tigers additional catcher depth. The teams’ records through April 15.
Eric Thames, still raking at Korean levels
Eric Thames was struggling so much at baseball, he had to move to Korea to continue to play in 2013. That turned out to be a pretty good idea because he basically became their Barry Bonds, hitting .348 with 124 home runs and 379 RBI. He won the MVP and a Golden Glove in 2015, and became Korea’s first 40 homer, 40 steal player.
He also has his priorities straight.
“I came to Milwaukee before I signed, checked it out, and after an hour I knew it was where I wanted to be. I love the Midwest. I love the hospitality of people. And Milwaukee has great beer.
“I love beer.”
On the heels of that outrageous season, he came back to America and has continued that torrid pace. He’s the best story of the MLB season so far. Other than the Tigers somehow being three games over .500 with a -13 run differential, of course.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is one of my favorite players in the league. In other news, Starling Marte tested positive for PEDs before the season, lost his appeal, and now will be suspended for 80 games. Awesome.
For your free time
The Tigers’ problem is the bullpen. Again. Home Runs are at an all-time high pace. We’re only 13 games in, but still! Injuries: Clay Bucholz will miss 3-5 months and Josh Donaldson will be out 2-4 weeks with a calf injury. Getting hit by a baseball is unfortunate. Getting hit in four straight at-bats is Josh Harrison.