Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers quite the scare this afternoon when he was forced to exit with abdominal discomfort following an awkward slide into second base in the fifth inning, but just like with his recent nagging injuries, he plans to play through the pain.
According to Bobby NIghtengale of MLB.com, Cabrera said after today’s game that he intends to be in the lineup tomorrow night when the team begins a three-game series against the second-place Indians.
“I’m OK,” Cabrera said. “I’ll play tomorrow. Don’t worry.”
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that Cabrera was dealing with pain from his abdomen to his groin, which is why he grabbed at his left leg/knee area after the slide. With his mobility severely limited, it would probably be a good idea for him to take a few days off. And while he doesn’t intend to miss any time right now, that could happen if the Tigers create a little more distance between themselves and the Indians this weekend. They are up six games at the moment. Of course, taking some days off down the stretch may hurt Cabrera’s chances for a second straight Triple Crown, but this team has designs on redemption after getting swept in the World Series last year.
Cabrera currently leads the American League with a .359 batting average and 130 RBI. He ranks second with 43 home runs, just four behind the Orioles’ Chris Davis.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.