Brad Ausmus thinks he’s an MD, gives opinion on Miguel Cabrera’s back

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Sep 17, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) hits a single during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Cabrera didn’t play yesterday after leaving Monday night’s game in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies with lower back tightness. But don’t worry, Brad Ausmus put on his MD hat when he told the Detroit News, “Quite frankly, I think he’s going to have to deal with it the rest of his career.” Ausmus added,

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 isn’t the first time we’ve seen Cabrera leave a game early due to back pain. In March, Miggy left a game during the World Baseball Classic after his back locked up. And, we’ve continued to see this happen again and again during the regular season. It started as early as April against the Cleveland Indians and again more recently in mid-August.

Although the Tigers first-baseman has said otherwise, the injury is undoubtedly at the root of the slugger’s struggles this season, batting .253/.339/.406 in 113 games with just 14 home runs. With the uncertainty of Victor Martinez’s career, perhaps a move to DH could revive Cabrera.

If Miggy’s scuffle with Yankee’s catcher Austin Romine on August 24 is any indication, the big leaguer is clearly frustrated with his performance.

However, the Tigers medical team has yet to pinpoint an injury that’s causing the issues. And there’s no indication from the team, or Cabrera, that rest or even surgery may be treatment options for the 34-year-old. In fact, Ausmus even said he thinks rest during the off-season won’t do the trick.

Miguel isn’t in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s finale in Colorado. The Triple Crown winner’s contract takes him through 2023 with the Tigers, with at least $184 million owed after this season.