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Miguel Cabrera’s back could be an issue for the rest of his career


Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said last night that Miguel Cabrera‘s back problems are likely not something that will just get better and go away. He thinks they’ll be chronic:

“Quite frankly, I think he’s going to have to deal with it the rest of his career. Probably, it’ll come and go. What you don’t want to do is make yourself worse, or create a bad habit that impacts performance or creates another problem.”

This came after Cabrera was held out of the Tigers’ lineup last night, which came a day after leaving Monday’s series opener against the Rockies with lingering lower back tightness. It’s been bothering him since the World Baseball Classic in March and is almost certainly contributing to his career-worst season. The former two-time MVP and Triple Crown winner is batting .253/.339/.406 with only 14 homers and 57 RBI in 113 games.

Cabrera, 34, is owed more than $185 million from the Tigers on a contract that runs through 2023. If the back issues “come” more than “go,” to use Ausmus’ terms, this could wind up being one of the worst contracts in baseball history, at least on the back end.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.