Miguel Cabrera to miss final six games with high ankle sprain

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Miguel Cabrera left Monday’s game after tweaking his ankle running the bases and Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that an MRI exam revealed the dreaded high-ankle sprain that will knock him out for the final six games of the season.
Whether missing the final week will significantly hurt Cabrera’s chances for the MVP award is unclear, because some voters may have already decided on their picks or perhaps even sent in their ballots at this point. Plus, it’s not like he could have carried the Tigers into the playoffs with a monster finish.
Cabrera ends the season hitting .328/.420/.622 with 38 homers, 45 doubles, 89 walks, and a league-leading 126 RBIs in 150 games. Purely in terms of offense Cabrera has certainly been as valuable as any player in the league, ranking second to only Josh Hamilton in OPS while playing 20 more games than the Rangers outfielder.
However, players like Evan Longoria, Robinson Cano, and Adrian Beltre have also been excellent offensively while contributing significantly more value than Cabrera defensively and playing tougher, less offense-driven positions. And of course if the 28 writers who actually vote on the MVP place an emphasis on playoff-bound teams that would hurt Cabrera as well.
Cabrera would definitely be a worthy MVP choice, but doesn’t strike me as a no-brainer pick, so I’m curious to see how the voting shakes out. He finished fourth in the balloting last year, controversially receiving the only first-place vote that didn’t go to Joe Mauer.

Rob Manfred talks about playing regular season games in Mexico

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The new Collective Bargaining Agreement commits the players and the league to regular season games on foreign soil. Most of the focus of this has been on games in London, for which there has been a lot of activity and discussion.

Yesterday before the Astros-Tigers game in Houston, however, Commissioner Rob Manfred talked about playing games in Mexico. And not as just a one-off, but as a foot-in-the-water towards possible expansion:

Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday that the time had come to play regular-season games in Mexico City as Major League Baseball weighs international expansion.

“We think it’s time to move past exhibition games and play real live ‘they-count’ games in Mexico,” Manfred said. “That is the kind of experiment that puts you in better position to make a judgement as to whether you have a market that could sustain an 81-game season and a Major League team.”

A team in Mexico could make some geographic sense and some marketing sense, though it’s not clear if there is a city that would be appropriate for that right now. Mexico City is huge but it has plenty of its own sports teams and is far away from the parts of the country where baseball is popular (mostly the border states and areas along the Pacific coast). At 7,382 feet, its elevation would make games at Coors Field look like the Deadball Era.

Monterrey has been talked about — games have been played there and it’s certainly closer — but it’s somewhat unknown territory demographically speaking. It’s not as big as Mexico City, obviously. Income stratification is greater there and most of the rest of Mexico than it is in the United States too, making projections of how much discretionary income people may spend on an expensive entertainment product like Major League Baseball uncertain. Especially when they have other sports they’ve been following for decades.

Interesting, though. It’s something Manfred has talked about many times over the years, so unlike so many other things he says he’s “considering” or “hasn’t ruled out,” Major League Baseball in Mexico is something worth keeping our eyes on.

 

Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig had a brutal collision in right center field

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The score was tied in the top of the 10th inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and the Cardinals. Yadier Molina was up to bat, facing Kenley Jansen and drove one to deep right center field.

Yasiel Puig was in full run for the ball as center fielder Joc Pederson ranged hard for it himself. Puig caught the ball, but not before slamming into Pederson. Both men went down, but Pederson went down harder, taking an elbow to the face from Puig before crashing head-first into the outfield wall.

Watch:

 

Pederson came out of the game, apparently bleeding from his head. There will be an update on his condition today.

UPDATE: Oops, there was an update last night: