The Tigers got some bad news on Sunday morning as Miguel Cabrera was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain. To take his place on the roster, the Tigers selected the contract of Renato Núñez’s from their taxi squad.
Additionally, Julio Teheran has been moved to the 60-day injured to make room for Núñez on the Tigers’ 40-man roster. This confirms manager manager A.J. Hinch’s comments with regards to Teheran in that his shoulder injury will result in some significant time missed. Now, the earliest Teheran will be eligible to return is in mid-June.
Cabrera grimaced and grabbed his left arm after fouling a pitch off in the seventh inning on Saturday night, but finished the at bat. He was ultimately removed from the game for what was assumed to be a chance to get him out of a game that was way out of reach for the Tigers, but it looks like there was more to it. Despite launching a home run through the snow off of Shane Bieber on Opening Day, Cabrera has struggled mightily to start the season, putting up a line of .125/.222/.292 with only that one home run and three RBI.
As of this writing, there has been no indication as to the amount of time that Cabrera could miss, but it’s worth noting that a ruptured left biceps tendon suffered in June 2018 kept him out the remainder of the season.
By all indications, Renato Núñez was one of the last players to not make the 26-man roster out of spring training. Hinch said earlier in the week that Núñez stuck around in the organization instead of exorcising his opt-out because he felt that he would still have an opportunity to make an impact at the major league level. With Cabrera’s injury, that opportunity has arrived sooner than anyone in the organization could have expected or hoped for.
When in the field, Núñez will play first base, but he is not known for having a quality glove. He is here to do one thing, and that’s provide the Tigers with a much-needed spark in the power department. In 2019, he clubbed 31 homers with the Orioles, and then hit 12 more in a shortened 2020 season. Despite that, he was still only worth a combined total of 1.1 fWAR across the two years due to his inability to defend. Still, many expected his bat to carry him on to the Opening Day roster, and while that didn’t work out, he now has the chance to power his way into a mainstay in the lineup.