Cabrera Could Reach Two Milestones On the Same Swing
Neither team is likely to be clinching a playoff spot when they meet for their final series, but the media attention might be great. On hand one can foresee channels as revered as ESPN, the MLB Network, and Fox Sports, all paying more attention to one player rather than the outcome of the game itself.
Based on projections of his last three years, Miguel Cabrera should be securing a plaque in the Hall of Fame during that late September. His team will be hosting the Kansas City Royals that weekend, allowing an opportunity for Detroit fans to witness first hand Miggy reach extremely rare territory.
He needs thirteen home runs to reach the coveted 500 mark, and thirteen hits would put him in the rare company of players to get three thousand in their careers. The last home game of the year is on September 26, a Sunday afternoon affair that would provide an ideal setting for one or both of the accomplishments.
Cabrera has averaged ten home runs and 99 hits over the last three years, so he needs to improve however slightly upon those numbers if he is reach his two most individual goals this season. Injuries plagued him in 2018, limiting him to just 38 games.
He recovered to play in two thirds of the games in 2019, and last year he appeared in all but three of Detroit's sixty contests. Those numbers indicate a return to health for Cabrera, who will turn 38 during the first month of the season.
Both historic marks could come earlier, given the much-improved lineup around Cabrera. Pitchers may have more difficulty pitching around him now, unlike the past three years when the Tigers were in a full-fledged rebuild mode.
New acquisitions Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Schoop are projected to hit in front of Miggy, and not far behind him will be slugger Nomar Mazara. Also quickening his path to 3,000 and 500 is the schedule, which has Detroit playing its interleague games against the National League Central teams.
Cabrera will enjoy the benefit of three early August games in hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, after which he will get a series against the rebuilding Pittsburgh Pirates. If he is healthy for that week, he may be able to knock a big dent in the narrow space between him and the milestones.
Still, the idea of smashing number 500 and number 3,000, possibly on the same at bat, seems more memorable if accomplished in front of Tigers fans. A wild celebration would surely ensue, as Cabrera gets honored in a park where hang the jerseys of legendary Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Hank Greenburg, Alan Trammel, Al Kaline, and Jack Morris.