Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera was forced to leave Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox after the fourth inning due to injury. According to the team, Cabrera was dealing with tightness in his lower back, and the 11-time All-Star is considered to be day-to-day as a result.
Cabrera was replaced in the lineup by John Hicks, who is in his second season with the team.
Cabrera has appeared in 123 games this season, hitting .249 with 16 home runs, 60 runs batted in and a .734 OPS. Those numbers are a far cry from what Cabrera produced in 2016, a season in which he hit .316 with 38 home runs, 108 runs batted in and a .956 OPS. Finishing ninth in the American League MVP voting, the 2016 season was the seventh time in the last eight years that Cabrera finished in the Top 10 of voting for that award.
Cabrera’s 2017 season did not get off to the best of starts, due in large part to the back injury he suffered while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. Cabrera’s been nagged by various aliments throughout the season, which has impacted his productivity.
Back tightness forced Cabrera to leave two separate games last month, the most recent of which coming on Aug. 28.
The aforementioned Hicks has appeared in 53 games for the Tigers this season, hitting .285 with six home runs, 22 runs batted in and a .823 OPS. The third-year pro has seen more playing time in the months of August and September, seeing action at both first base and behind the plate.