Miguel Cabrera in some elite company at age 27

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Miguel Cabrera turned 27 years old yesterday and celebrated with his 212th career homer, which got me curious about where his production at his age ranks in baseball history.
After all, Cabrera was a full-time player for a World Series team at age 20, has played at least 155 games in every year since then, and has never hit fewer than 25 homers, driven in fewer than 100 runs, or batted below .290 in a full season.
He still has another 150 or so games to include in his “through age 27” production, but assuming he matches last year’s numbers (.324/.396/.547 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs) here’s where Cabrera would rank in various categories among players at the end of their age-27 seasons:
Games: 1,200 (20th)
Hits: 1,418 (12th)
Doubles: 287 (4th)
Homers: 243 (12th)
RBIs: 856 (10th)
Total Bases: 2,458 (9th)
Extra-Base Hits: 542 (10th)
Not bad, huh?
Cabrera may be overlooked at times because he’s never blasted 40 homers or finished higher than fourth in the MVP balloting–and certainly didn’t make any fans with his drunken arrest last October–but in terms of consistent excellence few hitters in baseball history can match him at this stage of their careers.
Today’s birthday boy isn’t bad either: Joe Mauer joins Cabrera at age 27 today and the reigning MVP already has more batting titles than every other catcher in baseball history combined. Also born in 1983? Zack Greinke, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Justin Verlander, Nick Markakis, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Braun, and Cole Hamels. Oh, and me (although my numbers through age 27 don’t compare so favorably).

Nationals do not activate Bryce Harper for Monday’s game

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The Nationals were expected to activate outfielder Bryce Harper from the 10-day disabled list in advance of Monday’s series opener in Philadelphia, but they did not because Harper woke up with flulike symptoms, Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reports. It doesn’t have anything to do with the knee injury which sent him to the DL last month or the ensuing rehab, he adds.

Rain had fallen in Washington, D.C. on August 12 ahead of the Nationals’ game against the Giants. Harper attempted to beat out a ground out to first base but slipped on the wet first base bag and was later diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee.

Harper was in the midst of a great season prior to the injury, perhaps one that would have led to an NL MVP Award. When he comes back, he’ll do what he can to pad his .326/.419/.614 slash line along with 29 home runs, 87 RBI, and 92 runs scored in 472 plate appearances. The Nationals are just concerned with getting him back in the flow of things in time for the playoffs. They have seven games remaining in the regular season.

Chris Archer on joining Bruce Maxwell’s protest: “I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me at this time.”

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Rays pitcher Chris Archer doesn’t see himself joining Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell‘s protest any time soon, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports. Archer said, “From the feedback that I’ve gotten from my teammates, I don’t think it would be the best thing to do for me, at this time. I agree with the message. I believe in equality.”

Archer continued, “I don’t want to offend anybody. No matter how you explain it or justify it, some people just can’t get past the military element of it and it’s not something I want to do, is ruffle my teammates’ feathers on my personal views that have nothing to do with baseball.”

Archer did express admiration for the way Maxwell handled his situation. The right-hander said, “The way he went about it was totally, I think, as respectful as possible, just letting everybody know that this doesn’t have anything to do with the military, first and foremost, noting that he has family members that are in the military. It’s a little bit tougher for baseball players to make that leap, but I think he was the right person to do it.”

Maxwell recently became the first baseball player to kneel as the national anthem was sung, a method of protest popularized by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. As Craig explained yesterday, baseball’s hierarchical culture has proven to be a strong deterrent for players to express their unpopular opinions. We can certainly see that in Archer’s justification. Archer was one of 62 African Americans on the Opening Day roster across 30 major league clubs (750 total players, 8.3%).