Miguel Cabrera exits early with back tightness

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 17: Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) between innings of an AL Central game between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals on July 17, 2017 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera left Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins with back tightness prior to the start of the seventh inning and has been listed as day-to-day. He was replaced defensively by John Hicks.

Prior to his departure, Cabrera went 1-for-3 at the plate, raising his average on the year to .253, to go along with a .337 on-base percentage.

It’s been a massive struggle in 2017 for Cabrera who has managed to bat at least .313 each season since 2008. He was not elected to the All-Star Game this year for the first time since 2009, a season in which he still finished fourth in American League MVP voting.

This season, he has 13 home runs and 53 RBI’s, also his lowest totals since his rookie season back in 2003. Despite the malaise this year, his .318 career average entering play on Saturday makes him the active leader in baseball. His 78.2 WAR puts him second behind only Albert Pujols.

Cabrera’s struggles have been magnified on the road, where he is just a .208 hitter this year. With seven doubles and three home runs in 55 games, his OPS has dipped south of the .600 mark away from Comerica Park.

The Tigers are on the hook to pay Cabrera at least $30 million each of the next six seasons. He has an additional two years on his contract that have vesting options, which could bring him through his age 42 season in 2025 still with the franchise.

Coming into play Saturday, the Tigers find themselves 6.5 games out of an American League Wild Card spot, with a 52-63 record.

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