Should Miguel Cabrera represent the Detroit Tigers at the All-Star game?

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera has given fans plenty to cheer about this season and throughout his Hall Of Fame career, but should he be considered an All-Star in 2022?

The 39-year-old veteran has not only continued to climb All-Time lists but also paced the Tigers’ offense this season despite being a shell of the hitter he once was.  Manager A.J. Hinch continues to plug him into the clean spot with seemingly everyone else being shuffled around on a nightly basis as he looks for a spark.

Last season, Cabrera belted historic career home run no. 500, and he’s followed it up this year, eclipsing 3,000-hits and 600 doubles, launching himself into elite company.  Only three players in the history of the league have accomplished the feat; Hank Aaron, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera.

Recently, in the most Cabrera way, Cabrera explained why he’d love to be in the 2022 All-Star game, which takes place in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July. 19th.  Cabrera knowing the Detroit Tigers start back up in Oakland following the break, had this to say;

“That’s the good thing,” he said. “If I make it, I would stay out there and not have to fly back and forth. I don’t know. It’s going to be tough. It’d be a good thing for my kids. They were too young before but they’ve got memories.”

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the numbers.

So far, in 2022, Miguel Cabrera is slashing .291/.332/.374 with an OPS of .706.  As the extra-base power has diminished, so has his Slugging Percentage.  Over the course of his career, Cabrera has maintained a Slugging Percentage of .529, and through his best years, over .600.  If you are wondering, the .374 is the lowest of his career. According to FanGraphs, Cabrera has earned a wRC+ of 102 along with a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of -0.2.  Overall, not bad, but certainly nowhere near the Miggy of old.

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Through 50 games this season, Miguel Cabrera has belted three home runs, drove in 20, drawn 11 walks, and struck out 51 times.  Cabrera’s walk rate of 5.7% is the lowest of his career, and his strikeout rate of 26.4% is the highest of his career.  These numbers don’t exactly jump off the page or describe an All-Star, which is ok.  Cabrera is another example of the old saying Father Time eventually catches up with everyone.

As it stands in the American League, Yordan Alvarez, Shohei Ohtani, and J.D. Martinez should have the designated hitter position locked up.  Martinez, the former Detroit Tigers slugger, is slashing an impressive .347/.412/.973 this season for the Red Sox.  Alvarez has belted 17 home runs while slashing .302/.397/1.017.

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The sliver of hope Cabrera may have is if the American League elects to vote Ohtani in as a starting pitcher rather than a designated hitter.  We know he will likely pitch and hit in the contest, but there is an outside chance they will subtract a pitcher from the roster and bring an additional hitter.  Ohtani is 4-4 on the year with an ERA of 3.64, a FIP of 3.21, and a WHIP of 1.123 over 54.1 innings of work.  In the batters’ box, the dynamic two-way superstar is slashing .255/.333/.476 with an OPS of .810.

Who will represent the Detroit Tigers at the 2022 MLB All-Star game?

The Tigers are in the midst of a disappointing season.  Expectations were high heading into the year following what some will call a mediocre offseason and yet the same offseason others were very optimistic about.

General manager Al Avila went out and added Eduardo Rodriquez to anchor the top of the rotation, plus added the flashy Javier Baez to captain the infield.  The problem?  Rodriquez was shelved with a ribcage sprain, and Javier Baez can’t seem to hit a beach ball and is constantly swinging at sliders in the left-handed batter’s box.

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In addition to Rodriquez, the Detroit Tigers have also suffered injuries to every member of their starting rotation, with one exception; Tarik Skubal.

Skubal is enjoying a stellar season, and with the Detroit Tigers currently sitting in the bottom half of the American League, ten games under .500 with a record of 24-34 really shouldn’t be awarded more than one All-Star unless someone happened to be ultra worthy.

Not only has Skubal emerged as the ace of the staff, but he’s also quickly becoming everything we had hoped Casey Mize would be for the Detroit Tigers. Skubal is having a career-year posting a 5-2 record this season with an ERA of 2.33 and a FIP of 2.10, which is a league-best among starters, to go along with a WHIP of 0.944.  Skubal has fanned 70 hitters over 65.2 innings and has walked just 10.

Unfortunately for the seven-time All-Star, Miguel Cabrera, I don’t see another All-Star bid in his future unless a couple of injuries were to occur across the league.

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