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Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch has a clear plan for how he will handle Miguel Cabrera‘s playing time in his final season in baseball. Hinch's top priority is making sure that Cabrera is comfortable with the schedule and understands when he will be starting and when he will be coming off the bench. Hinch also wants to be open about Cabrera's role in each series, particularly when teams are honoring him or when fans have come out to see him play. Cabrera has been hitting seventh in the batting order, but Hinch plans to focus on certain pitchers, primarily left-handed ones, when deciding when to start him. The plan will be flexible, taking into account Cabrera's health and performance, and Hinch is confident that Cabrera is on board with it.
Why it Matters for AJ Hinch and Miguel Cabrera
Hinch has a plan for navigating Cabrera through his last season in baseball, with a priority on Cabrera's well-being and playing time, while also giving fans and opposing teams the chance to see him play.
- Hinch has mapped out Cabrera's playing time in his final season
- Cabrera's health and well-being are the top priority
- Hinch wants to be open about Cabrera's role in each series, taking into account teams honoring him and fan interest
- Cabrera has been hitting seventh in the batting order, but Hinch plans to focus on certain pitchers when deciding when to start him
- The plan will be flexible and based on Cabrera's health and performance
- Cabrera is on board with the plan
Big Picture: Managing a legend's final season
With Cabrera in the final season of his Hall-of-Fame career, Hinch faces the difficult task of managing a player who has accomplished so much in his career and who means so much to the team and its fans. Hinch's plan for Cabrera's playing time takes into account not just the team's goals, but also Cabrera's comfort and well-being, as well as the desire of fans and opposing teams to see him play. Hinch's approach shows the delicate balance that managers must strike when handling a player in the twilight of his career.
“It’s not easy, but I will be cognizant of all of that,” Hinch said Sunday morning before the series finale against the Rays, where Cabrera was in the starting lineup for the third straight game. “No. 1, priority is to Miguel and making sure he understands where his starts are going to be and when he’s going to be coming off the bench.
“Secondarily, I’d love to be open about where he fits in each particular series, whether it’s teams honoring him or that fans have come out to see him — there’s a lot of interested parties, as it should be. We will do the best we can, obviously factoring in his health.”
Series by Series Approach for Miguel Cabrera
Hinch added that he will take a series-by-series approach when it comes to Cabrera.
“It’s going to be series by series, as I watch him and who we are matching up against,” Hinch said. “There are certain pitchers we’re going to focus on, primarily left-handed pitching. There are some right-handed pitchers we feel pretty good about based on how we think they’re going to attack him.
“It’s going to be about when he can best do some damage and where his health is. It’s going to be series by series with some targeted starts for him.”
Bottom Line – A Delicate Balance for AJ Hinch
Managing a player in the final season of his career requires a delicate balance, and Hinch seems to have found that balance with his plan for Cabrera. By prioritizing Cabrera's well-being and playing time, while also taking into account fan interest and opposing teams' desire to honor him, Hinch has shown that he understands the importance of managing a legend in a way that respects his accomplishments and his place in the game. As Cabrera approaches the end of his career, Hinch's approach will be a model for other managers who find themselves in similar situations.
“It’s not always going to be perfect,” Hinch said. “I realize some fans are going to be disappointed if they come to a game and he’s not starting, though that doesn’t mean he’s not going to get into the game. But it’s a tough balance, obviously.
We didn’t do this crap for anyone, not even Al Kaline. This world is f–ked. It’s people like you and the woke crowd that are destroying this great country. Everyone gets a trophy BS. People need to learn how to lose. It’s life’s reality. Besides once he knew he had a clad contract he became a bum. Do you actually think that people go to the game and pay at least $25 for parking, $10 a beer and pay ridiculous prices for food and suveniers to see a fat has been sitting on the bench, then check your kidneys. You’ve got your head so far up your but, you might as well give yourself a physical!
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