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.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.