By:  Kurt Snyder

A couple weeks ago, a local sports radio talk show host made a blanket statement about Miguel Cabrera and his recent injury history.

He made the same type of statement a couple of years ago when Justin Verlander was going through his trials before his unforeseen resurgence and return to being the ace of the Tigers starting staff.

Callers were, in general, understanding of Miggy’s down year this season as he was plagued by several injuries, including his back which was injured in the spring (not to mention the family issues in Venezuela).

The response by the ‘not to be named’ host? (Paraphrased) – This is who Miggy is. He’s hurt. He’s always hurt and he will always be hurt.

I was beyond incensed by the statement, which immediately brought to mind the same type synopsis from the same radio host about Verlander when he inferred – this is who JV is now, a couple good starts, a couple bad starts, but the dominance is over.

We all know what happened shortly after; JV turned it all around and the dominance had returned. It was totally unexpected.

There is a parallel between these 2 situations. But until one very important transaction takes place with the Tigers, Miggy will have the tougher road to return to dominance.

The difference? Miggy will need more help.  And it’s help he is not getting with VMart constantly in the lineup.

Victor Martinez has been a great Tiger. Signing him to a new 4-year contract seemed like the absolute right thing to do at the time. But, in the wonderful world of hindsight, it is now proving, this year especially, that the continued presence of VMart in Detroit is breaking down Miguel Cabrera.

VMart, forever known as the protection for Miggy in the Tiger lineup, is finally out of that role, and is far from protecting anyone. Until that contract expires and the Tigers can set him free, they continue to risk the health of their most important player; the face of the franchise, the straw that stirs the drink, the heart and soul. Heard enough?

Anyway, given his importance to the success of this team, what have the Tigers done to help him? Has Miguel been hurt a lot over the years? Absolutely. Has it hurt the Tigers and their run for titles? You bet. Would he have been hurt less if he could DH more? We don’t know. But he would certainly have a better shot don’t you think?

In November of last year, I wrote a blog about Victor Martinez. And it can definitely serve as the prequel to this discussion.


It’s anyone’s guess what the Tigers will look like after this season. It’s anyone’s guess if the Tigers will be at the beginning of a complete overhaul or not. But the team, in the last year of VMart’s contract has to do a better job of protecting ‘The Franchise.’

A transition needs to begin next season, where Miggy DH’s, and DH’s a lot. I don’t care how much the $18 million dollar man has to sit. Cabrera is going to be around for a long time and the more first base he plays, the closer he gets to being the next VMart, where he will be nothing more than a hitter, unable to spell anyone by picking up a glove.

Miggy is an absolutely gifted hitter headed for the Hall of Fame when his time is done. He has the ability to return to that dominant hitter we have grown used to seeing, year after year after year.

But to do that, the Tigers need to recognize this season as a warning sign. Next year they need to help Miggy. They have to decide if it’s more important to preserve their best hitter for years to come or justify VMart’s $18M by continuing to pencil him into the lineup.

Every. Single. Day.


  1. Great advice Kurt. Had a baseball almanac that listed players careers and noticed most hall of famers,buy thier early thirties, started a pattern of on again off again seasons as compared to thier five to ten year prime runs. JV is doing that now and I expect your(we’re,) right that Miggy is now fallowing the same history path.


  2. In fact, Miggy has often been hurt. Some of it is on him, but most on the Tigers’ lousy injury protocol. Also Miggy’s stupid decision to play in the WBC this spring. No matter WHO hits behind him, he is no longer feared. He must prove himself again.


  3. Can it ever be possible that this is seen by a group of fans and the experts are blind in the matter? Personally I’ve brought up this problem a year or two ago. Hicks would be way more useful to the team as a platoon at 1B/DH and 3rd catcher. A more balanced roster.


  4. Given Miggy’s recent comments about his family in Venezuela, is it possible he was coerced into playing in the WBC? Maybe the Tigers should play VMart more at 1B and let Miggy DH. If VMart gets hurt & goes on the DL it gets him out of the line-up and allows a useful roster addition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spartan, I was thinking of taking it a step further. Put Martinez in at catcher once in a while. For $18 million he should be able to play where he is told. Yes, I would be hoping to force his retirement.


  5. Is it possible to be loyal to a team while at the same time grow tired of the players? I like Miggy and respect his talents immensely, but would rather see him go to another team. I would like to see a Tiger team made up of young, gung-ho players, with a tough old manager to lead them. Brad-ball is wearing me out.


  6. “Signing him (VMart) to a new 4-year contract seemed like the absolute right thing to do at the time.” It never did to me. He was 36, had serious knee issues, and was coming off a career year. It struck me at the time as the ultimate sucker bet and I am very sorry to have been right.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miggy will dominate again as soon as the games have very little meaning to any pennant race. They are pitching him inside and he has 2 HRs to LF? He still looks as if he doesn’t see the ball and misses by a foot or two way too often, especially in predictable counts.


  8. Is it a coincidence that a article about Miggys family came out this year? That situation has most likely going on for years . Now in a down year it comes to light. Seems like a local media tiger p.r move to me.


  9. Doug and sprocket right on. Also to my JV thing earlier today add Zimmerman to that. Terrible signing. Also in zimms case it’s game to game, not year to year like JV.


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