Former two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera is done for the season.
During Tuesday night's loss to the Minnesota Twins (MIN 6, DET 4), Cabrera suffered a ruptured left biceps tendon while taking a swing in the third inning. He will undergo season-ending surgery, the Detroit Tigers announced.
Here's video of the swing that led to the injury:
"He feels like he's letting people down. He's a warrior. He feels terrible that he's letting the team down. I have total respect for that man. He's a hell of a baseball player," manager Ron Gardenhire said after Tuesday's game. "This is a serious injury ... Once they go in there surgically and look at this thing, we'll all know more about how it's going to come back and how he's going to heal."
Cabrera was once one of the sport's most durable players, averaging an incredible 158 games per year from 2004 to '12, his age 21 through 29 seasons. He has dealt with numerous injuries in recent years however, including groin trouble in 2015 and back trouble in 2017. Cabrera spent time on the disabled list earlier this year with a hamstring issue.
While Niko Goodrum replaced Cabrera on Tuesday, Gardenhire said John Hicks will take over first base full-time going forward. Hicks, a catcher by trade, is hitting a solid .285/.327/.437 overall this season. Victor Martinez is a full-time DH now due to his own injury problems, leaving Goodrum as the only real first base alternative on the roster.
The Tigers figure to pursue first base help just to get them through the season -- the recently released Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez jump to mind as low-cost options -- though they are a rebuilding club, so it's unlikely they'll make a significant trade. They're more likely to scour the scrap heap and waiver wire for a depth pickup.
Truth be told, the Tigers probably would have jumped at the chance to trade Cabrera and the $170 million or so remaining on his contract at the deadline. They traded Justin Verlander last season and there's not much sense in holding on to an aging Cabrera through a rebuild. The biceps injury eliminates the possibility of a trade, however, probably until at least next year's deadline.
The 35-year-old Cabrera battled through the worst season of his career in 2017, hitting .249/.329/.399 with 16 home runs in 130 games. He'd bounced back this season to hit .299/.395/.448 with three home runs in 38 games before the biceps injury. Certainly not peak Miggy production, but still very good overall.
It's worth noting the injury temporarily halts Cabrera's pursuit of 3,000 hits. He finishes the season with 2,676 career hits, so instead of potentially reaching the milestone in late 2019 or early 2020, it'll almost certainly have to wait until late 2020 at the earliest.