Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Worst Case scenario, what if Miguel Cabrera misses the season?
The elephant that has been in the room since last Thursday has finally been seen and introduced to everyone in attendance.
Since he was arrested for drunk driving in Florida late Wednesday night, and the news got out Thursday morning, the question everyone was asking so VERY silently has finally been asked. Kudos to Matt Sussman of Mlive.com for doing so.
What happens if Miguel Cabrera misses the entire 2011 season?
Let’s face it; the Tigers have already announced that Cabrera will not be disciplined by MLB. So the idea of Cabrera missing even most of the season is very unlikely, but what will the Tigers do if Cabrera must sit out the season as he takes care of this problem?
Here’s what I think. (I have not read the article yet, so this is MY opinion, and not that of Matt Sussman.)
Well for starters, Cabrera won’t be traded or released, for better or worse, the Tigers have made Cabrera the “face” of the lineup, if not the team- apologies to Justin Verlander if I am completely off base. Cabrera is under contract with the Tigers thru the 2016 season, with no way to leave unless the team does the unlikely and makes a trade.
In all likelihood, the Tigers move Magglio Ordonez from RF to first base, but in conjunction with that move, newly acquired Victor Martinez, will split time with Ordonez at first base instead of at Catcher. The Tigers also might have to add another catcher, in some sort of minor move, to fill in for Alex Avila behind the plate.
That is just the first part of the scenario, involving the pieces of the puzzle.
Next, Jim Leyland and his coaching staff will have to take into account that Ordonez has zero games played at first base in his career. The already iffy Detroit defense will get worse having Ordonez at first, it won’t be AS bad with Martinez, but by having Ordonez at first base, every other player in the Tigers infield will have to work harder and concentrate solely on making the routine play, anything involving more risk has to be taken out of the equation. The impetus has to be on getting the “safe” out.
The pitching staff will also be affected by this move, as they too have to take a more conservative approach to trying to get the batters out. They will have to work on pitching to the strength of the defense, again with the intent of getting the safe out.
To see what Matt Sussman of Mlive thought the course of action would be in the “worst case scenario”, click on the link, as always.