AJ Hinch explains why Miguel Cabrera will play for the Tigers in 2023

Miguel Cabrera will play one final season with the Detroit Tigers before he rides off into the sunset, but what will his role be?

As the 2022 Major League All-Star Game quickly approached, Detroit Tigers‘ future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera was batting right around .300 on the season.

Unfortunately, Cabrera was not able to keep that going and he finished the season with a .258 average.

In fact, in the second half of the season, Cabrera batted just .171 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 33 games.

What did AJ Hinch say about Miguel Cabrera returning in 2023?

On Tuesday, Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch joined the Stoney & Jansen Show on 97.1 The Ticket and he explained they the organization decided to bring Miguel Cabrera back for the final year of his contract.

“He’s earned our respect,” A.J. Hinch said Tuesday on the Stoney & Jansen Show.

“I think in today’s world where we come up with these theories on what we should do, if you put yourself in the space of moving on from someone who’s going to have a statue in center field and a number retired and a Hall of Fame plaque, the criticism then would be that we’ve ruined a legacy,” said Hinch.

Via Will Burchfield – 97.1 The Ticket

How will Miguel Cabrera be used in 2023?

Cabrera will play one final season with the Detroit Tigers before he rides off into the sunset, but what will his role be? After all, the Tigers cannot afford to have a player in their lineup who is not hitting the baseball.

Hinch admitted that there is a balance that will have to be found depending on what he thinks he can get physically from Cabrera.

“There’s definitely a balance that we need to find on what can we get from Miguel, where is he at physically, where can he can contribute? Then it’s up to us to make those decisions harder based on the personnel that we have,” said Hinch. “When I first met with Miguel when I got the job, I told him that he’s going to hit lower in the order. We have to build a team that has a middle of the order than can supply the damage that we need in order to justify that, just from a team standpoint alone.”

Hinch knows Cabrera is not going to blast 40 (or even 30 or 20) home runs like he once did but the goal is to squeeze everything they can out of him.

“Miguel doesn’t want to play the way he did in the middle of the season, but nobody was clamoring for him to not be part of the organization in the first half when he made the All-Star team. Part of it was legacy, but we remember that he was playing pretty well,” said Hinch. “Maybe not the 20-homer, 30-homer, 40-homer guy, but we’re going to try to squeeze some more impact out of him and make decisions along the way that are associated with his performance.”

Personally, I am happy that Miggy is returning for the 2023 season because he is my second favorite baseball player of all-time (Ken Griffey Jr. is No. 1). That being said, if he is holding the team back in any way, a tough decision will have to be made.