Cabrera on crutches with sprained ankle
Miguel Cabrera’s superb season is likely over because of a badly sprained right ankle.
"I want to play, but I can’t today," the Detroit Tigers’ slugger said, his right foot in a walking boot and crutches propped against his locker.
Although Cabrera hopes he might play in at least one of the Tigers’ remaining six games, manager Jim Leyland wasn’t nearly as optimistic on Tuesday.
"He’s not too good," Leyland said. "He’s hurting. I’m not expecting too much too soon."
Cabrera was injured on a pickoff attempt at first base Monday night in a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He landed awkwardly as he got back to the bag safely. He limped to the dugout, and X-rays were negative.
"When I twisted, it felt real bad, and I was really worried," Cabrera said. "When they said it is not broken, I felt better, but I can’t put any weight on it."
Cabrera said he spent a restless night in pain. He wasn’t very happy that he had to scramble back in the first place.
"First time all year," he said of the pickoff try by rookie catcher Luke Carlin that came with none out, Detroit down by two runs and a runner ahead of him at second base.
"Look at me, 260 (pounds)," Cabrera continued. "I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t know if he wants to make the team for next year. I don’t know why he wanted to make that play.
"It kind of surprised me. I’m not a fast runner. I don’t know why he put that much attention on me."
Carlin said he was told earlier in the game that Cabrera was getting a big lead and to watch him.
"It’s unfortunate he hurt himself," said Carlin, called up last week from Triple-A Columbus. "When we walked him intentionally earlier, he got off the bag. We need all the outs we can get, so I thought I would give it a shot."
The intentional walk was the 32nd issued this year to Cabrera, two shy of Ted Williams’ AL record set in 1957.
Cabrera also has a major-league best 126 RBIs, is tied for second in the AL with 38 homers and is third in the league hitting at .328.
"Right now, I’m not thinking about numbers like RBIs, homers, average," he said. "I worry about my ankle feeling better."
Cabrera has seven more RBIs than both Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees and Toronto’s Jose Bautista and said he would like to add to his total.
"If I win, I win," he said. "Right now, with this injury, I can’t control that. I can say I want to win. If I play, I want to do everything I can to drive in more runs.
"Let’s see if tomorrow it feels better."