While the Tigers aren’t liable to do much of anything in 2019, we’d still like them to be entertaining. And no one is more entertaining than a healthy Miguel Cabrera. With perhaps the best blend of power and contact ability we’ve seen this millennium, watching Cabrera hit is a sublime pleasure that can, temporarily at least, mute frustration with the score, the standings, and the pace of the Tigers’ efforts to be good again.
So far this spring, all systems are go. Cabrera has destroyed opposing pitchers with the same ferocity as in his prime. He’s racked up a cool 1.063 OPS, and best of all, his back issues seem well managed for the time being. Cabrera is using his lower half beautifully once again, and showing an ability to lift missiles to the pull field that we haven’t seen from him since his spectacular second half of the 2016 season.
On Saturday, his victim was Tampa Bay Rays reliever, Hunter Wood.
Two days ago, a nice Astros pitching prospect, Corbin Martin, was the victim.
The Tigers’ offense could be a lot more fun than the feeble unit we saw in 2018. A core of Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos, and Christin Stewart should provide the on-base percentage and home run power the heart of the lineup lacked last year. Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum give them a pair of switch hitters who can draw walks and add average power to the mix. Meanwhile, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, and Grayson Greiner/John Hicks have a decent shot to outhit the combined production of their three positions from a year ago. As long as Miggy is healthy, the whole product will be far more enjoyable to watch.