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.

Report: Arquimedes Caminero likely to sign with Yomiuri Giants

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 21: Arquimedes Caminero #48 of the Seattle Mariners delivers a pitch during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 21, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Brewers won the game 7-6. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Mariners’ right-hander Arquimedes Caminero is nearing a deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. The club has reportedly agreed to sell the 29-year-old’s contract, Dutton writes, though no official move has been announced by either team yet. Caminero is under club control through 2020 and currently ineligible for arbitration.

The right-hander began the 2016 season with the Pirates but was sent to the Mariners in a trade for Seattle minor leaguers Jake Brentz and Pedro Vasquez in order to clear space in the Bucs’ bullpen. With the Mariners, Caminero produced a 3.66 ERA and 8.2 K/9 through 19 2/3 innings in the second half of the year. Although he boasts an electric fastball, one which consistently averaged 98.7 m.p.h. in 2016, his success rate has been tempered by poor control throughout his major league career. According to Dutton, the Mariners’ willingness to sell Caminero’s contract was a strong indication that they did not see him as a viable contender for their 2017 bullpen or as a potential trade chip further down the line.

Should the deal go through, the right-hander will be the second former Mariner to sign with a Japanese club for the 2017 season. Per Dutton’s report, outfielder Stefen Romero also picked up a contract with the Orix Buffaloes of NPB in late November.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.