Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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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.