Results tagged ‘ Miguel Cabrera ’
I watched this replay of Miguel Cabrera’s home run of Jonathan Papelbon several times. I saw the ball disappear somewhere around the left-field concourse. I still couldn’t figure out whether it left the ballpark, no matter how many times I watched.
Finally, as the Tigers and Phillies were wrapped up this 10-1 affair, I decided to head out to the concourse and try to figure it out myself. I’m not good at this. I have neither a tape measure nor a very good sense of distance. But I figured I’d give it a shot.
The left-field concourse at Bright House Networks Field has two tiki bars — a big one for Frenchy’s, the local bar and grill known for their grouper sandwiches, and a smaller one that just serves drinks. The home run seemingly headed over the smaller one.
The bartender there was very nice, and tried to explain it as best she could while trying to take care of customers. She knew about the home run I was asking about, and said it hit off the fence behind her bar, as shown in this picture.
Beyond that fence, you can see there’s a drop. That’s pretty much where the ballpark ends. There’s a player parking lot behind there, but the ball reportedly did not land there. There was another report that the ball hit a refrigeration unit down there. But in an area with two tiki bars and no shortage of customers, I’m taking the word of the one who hasn’t had a drink.
The concourse looks to be about 50 feet wide, followed by another 50 feet to the fence. It’s 329 feet down the left-field line, but no other measurement between there and center field. Best guess is that it’s about 350 feet to the fence where he hit it. Add another 100 feet as explained above, and you have a (loosely, and perhaps conservatively) estimated 450-foot drive.
The picture on the right shows what the view looks like from just in front of that back fence, demonstrating how far back it is.
From what the bartender and the Philadelphia media said, it’s not rare to see a ball travel that far in that area. Home runs have landed in the player parking lot before, shattering windshields. One of those happened last spring. Most of those, though, were hit in batting practice. Cabrera did it in a game.
However, Cabrera did it in a spring training game, and spring training games don’t get official estimates. This was my best shot.
Other information, hopefully more accurate, from today in Tigers camp:
- Drew Smyly felt very good about the few changeups he threw in his two innings of work. The mechanical adjustment pitching coach Jeff Jones made with him feels more like a natural pitch, he said. Before, he was trying to force the changeup as he released it.
- Look for a feature on Nick Castellanos on the site tonight, but one of the interesting points he made was that he thinks he feels some of his success hitting left-handers comes from the fact that he grew up hitting pitches thrown by his father, a left-hander. Over the years, he developed an inside-out swing by trying to send the pitch back from the angle it came. Ironically, he roughed up right-handed pitching all day Monday after lefty Cliff Lee struck him out on a called third strike, but Lee does that a lot.
- Leyland said he spent Sunday night going over potential rosters. It sounds like Ramon Santiago’s spot is safe, barring injury, as is Brayan Pena’s role as backup catcher. That leaves two spots left, at least one going to an extra outfielder, and at least some consideration for a right-handed hitter and a pinch-runner. You can see the opportunity there for Jeff Kobernus to take if he hits, and his leadoff single through the middle ahead of Castellanos’ home run in the fifth didn’t hurt.
- Max Scherzer felt fine today, according to Leyland. He’ll throw one more live batting practice session before he’s cleared to start next Saturday in one of the Tigers’ split-squad games, likely at home against the Pirates.
Octavio Dotel said he apologized to Miguel Cabrera in front of the team for comments in a Yahoo Sports article in which he suggested Cabrera should take more a leadership role on the team.
“I just want to apologize to Miggy,” Dotel said Wednesday morning. “I’m really sorry, and I hope Miggy doesn’t hate me for that.”
Cabrera later told reporters, “It’s no big deal.”
Dotel was quoted in Yahoo saying Cabrera is “more about his game,” and mentioned other players such as Prince Fielder and Justin Verlander possibly taking a more vocal leadership role.
Dotel suggested the quotes were taken out of context.
“That’s not what I was trying to mean,” Dotel said.
You might remember the exchange between Dotel and Cabrera in the clubhouse in Oakland after the Tigers lost Game 4 of the AL Division Series. Dotel suggested in Spanish that Cabrera needed to talk to reporters and convey a sense of no panic on the team, and Cabrera didn’t talk. Dotel later told MLive.com that he suggested a team meeting but the efforts were rebuffed.
Though the Yahoo story said Dotel also asked for a team meeting after Game 2 of the World Series, Dotel said that wasn’t true.
“Never against the Giants,” Dotel said. “I was hoping [a meeting would happen].”
Jim Leyland said he had no problem getting apologies like that out in the open when a situation pops up.
“I think that kind of stuff’s great,” Leyland said. “I love that kind of stuff.”
The Yahoo article went on to ask whether the Tigers clubhouse needed more leadership, but made no mention of offseason acquisition Torii Hunter, whose leadership abilities have been praised. Victor Martinez, meanwhile, was mentioned only in passing in the article, though his absence last season left the Tigers looking in other directions for clubhouse leadership.
Justin Verlander won’t get a chance to repeat for American League MVP, but Miguel Cabrera will get his chance to keep the award in Detroit. Verlander will settle for a shot at another AL Cy Young award.
MLB Network announced the finalists for baseball’s major end-of-season awards Wednesday night, and to no surprise, Cabrera and Verlander were in the middle of them. Cabrera was announced as one of five finalists for AL MVP, while Verlander was named among the three finalists for Cy Young.
Neither was a surprise, though Verlander actually wasn’t among the three finalists for AL Outstanding Pitcher honor at last week’s Players Choice awards. Unless you spent the last three months outside the country, you know that the AL MVP debate basically an argument over Cabrera’s Triple Crown and Mike Trout’s strength in metrics. The other three MVP finalists announced were Texas’ Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton, and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.
The Cy Young field is more open. Verlander’s 17 wins marked his lowest total since 2008, but he again led the league in innings and strikeouts while ranking second in ERA. He again led all AL pitchers in Wins Above Replacement. Whether that’s enough to put him on top 0f a field that includes 20-game winners David Price (also the ERA champ) and Jered Weaver is difficult to answer.
The Cy Young award winner will be announced next Wednesday at 6 p.m., also on MLB Network. The league MVP honors will be announced the next night.
Miguel Cabrera doesn’t look for many pitches to pull, and he says that was the case with his at-bat against Indians closer Chris Perez. Yet all four of his hits off Perez in eight career meetings have gone to left field, including the walkoff home run that completed a five-run 10th inning for a 10-8 win Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.
“I was looking for one pitch to drive the other way, try to hit it hard to the gap,” Cabrera said. “But he fell behind in the count, 3-1, so I was saying stay aggressive and try to hit it hard.”
Asked if he thought the ball was headed out, Cabrera said, “Oh, it was a little scary. It was high. I was not sure it was getting out, but I’m glad it went out.”
Other quotes from the win …
Austin Jackson on Chris Perez: “We haven’t really had too much success off of him. But that just shows what type of team we have. We kept battling even though we were down. Miggy’s been coming up with the clutch hits all year. That was incredible.”
Infante on his hit: “I feel bad because when Jackson made the triple [in the ninth], I had the opportunity for a walkoff and I don’t make contact in that situation. It didn’t work out. But the team was never down all game. I had another situation, and in that situation I wanted to make contact. [Perez] threw me a slider and I made contact to center field. That’s why I feel good. I made a base hit in that situation to tie the game.”
Infante on the win: “Oh, wow. I think that’s the best win I’ve ever seen. With two outs, a good pitcher, that’s the best win I’ve seen.”
Perez on the loss: “That’s what makes this so much worse, the fight that our hitters showed. Obviously, everybody knows we’re playing bad ball and this has been a terrible road trip. But to keep coming back, adding one on, and keep coming back, adding one on, put three up in extra innings, and then watch me [give] it away, it just sucks.”
Nick Castellanos broke into the U.S. starting lineup for the All-Star Futures Game as the designated hitter. He might also have provided a hint for where he could eventually fit in as a Tiger if Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder stay on the corners for the foreseeable future.
Actually, the hint came from Tigers minor-league instructor Kevin Bradshaw, who talked with Castellanos shortly before his promotion to Double-A Erie.
“Get an outfielder’s glove,” Castellanos said he was told. “Just to have one, it’s not a bad idea. So I went out and got one. I haven’t been getting specific instruction there yet. He just said to get out there, start getting a little different view.”
Once Castellanos made the jump to Erie little more than a month ago, he began tracking fly balls in left field during pregame batting practice — not specific drills, he said, but a way to get accustomed to that angle.
“A lot of it is pretty getting used to seeing the way the ball comes off [the bat] to lefties, comes off to righties, making sure I’m getting behind the balls when I’m running after them instead of running forward and then having to adjust backwards. That’s pretty much it,” Castellanos said Sunday before the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.
By all accounts, no move is imminent. All of Castellanos’ game action has been at third base, with the occasional start at designated hitter to get him off his feet. But with Miguel Cabrera seemingly at third base for the foreseeable future while Prince Fielder is at first, and the Tigers potentially having an opening in left field as soon as next season, though Castellanos won’t necessarily be ready at that point.
When asked about where his future lies, Castellanos said nothing definitive.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “I know the organization still loves me as a third baseman. They see me there in the future. They’ve also mentioned to get an outfielder’s glove, nothing too serious so far.”
Cabrera broke into the big leagues with the 2003 Marlins as their left fielder because that’s where their void was. They had Mike Lowell at third, though Lowell missed most of September that year and Cabrera filled in at third.
“All those guys are great,” Castellanos said. “I’m just going to have to keep on grinding it through and hopefully I’ll force them to put me somewhere.”
Another example is Albert Pujols, who played both corner outfield and infield spots as a 21-year-old rookie in 2001 before spending most of the following two years as the Cards’ primary left fielder.
“If you hit,” the 20-year-old Castellanos said, “they’re going to find a spot for you.”
Miguel Cabrera’s batting average stood at .316 on June 19, before he went hitless in three straight games against the Cardinals and Pirates. He has gone 8-for-16 over his last four games to bring his average back up to .312, including his four-hit, two-RBI game Thursday night at Tampa Bay.
Asked about the performance, Jim Leyland had an interesting reaction.
“I like it when he’s about 2-for-12 and somebody starts writing about it,” Leyland said after the game, “because that usually wakes him up a little bit.”
I’m sorry, what?
“I don’t know if it did or not,” Leyland said when asked further, “but it seems to work.”
For what it’s worth, Cabrera’s skid was 0-for-15 before he homered off Brad Lincoln on Saturday in Pittsburgh. It was the second time this season that Cabrera had that long of a hitless stretch.
When Cabrera went five straight games hitless in an 0-for-22 skid, he bounced out of it with a 12-for-28 stretch with two homers and four RBIs. That was the second-longest hitless stretch of his career.
Is that what’s driving him? Hard to tell. While he has talked a little bit about the team, his comments about his own hitting have been limited lately. He responded in spring training when it was suggested by many that he couldn’t play third base. Nobody has been suggesting he can’t hit, even during his deepest of funks.
It’s also worth mentioning that Cabrera hits well at Texas. He’s a .369 (75-for-203) career hitter in Texas with a 1.014 OPS. However, he’s just a .264 career hitter at Tampa Bay (55-for-208). Yet his ninth-inning homer Thursday was his 11th lifetime at Tropicana Field, two more than he has at The Ballpark at Arlington.
After three days of pounding on Red Sox pitching, Miguel Cabrera collected some hardware on the Tigers’ off-day. The reigning American League MVP runner-up earned the first AL Player of the Week award of the season, beating out teammates Prince Fielder, Alex Avila and Justin Verlander among others for the honor.
The Tigers’ season-opening three-game series sweep of Boston earned them their best start to a season since 2006, and Cabrera was at the heart of it. After his two-homer game punctuated Detroit’s 10-0 win Saturday afternoon on national television, Cabrera hit a game-tying, three-run homer in the ninth inning to send Sunday’s series finale into extra innings. His leadoff single in the 11th started another three-run rally, capped by Avila’s two-run walkoff homer to win it.
Cabrera’s Sunday drive was the Tigers’ first game-tying three-run homer in the ninth inning since Ryan Raburn hit one off Bobby Jenks on Aug. 5, 2010. It capped a 3-for-5, five-RBI performance for Cabrera.
The series continued Cabrera’s trend of fast starts. Combine his last four season-opening series through three games, and he’s a combined 25-for-46 (.543) with nine home runs and 24 RBIs. His three homers and eight RBIs through the first three games, however, are career bests.
“So far, we’ve done our job,” Cabrera said Sunday. “So far, we’ve played good. That’s what we’ve got to focus on.”
For the week, Cabrera was tied for the Major League lead in total bases (14), tied for second in runs scored (five) and had the third-best slugging percentage (1.273).
Amazingly, Cabrera didn’t win Player of the Week honors at any point last season, when he captured his first batting title and led Detroit to its first division title since 1987. This is his first weekly honor since 2010, his fifth in as many seasons in Detroit, and his ninth in his Major League career.
Miguel Cabrera’s first play at third base this season was a little acrobatic, a foul pop-up that sent him into a somersault when he reached back for the ball and slipped on the dirt. That wasn’t a scare so much as it was a laugh.
“I don’t know if it was ovation or if everyone was laughing,” Cabrera said after the game, “but it was fun.”
That was a laugh, it turned out. It was the next ball that was a scare for him.
Dustin Pedroia’s sixth-inning ground ball was a hard-hit ball that got past Cabrera. Instead of staying down for the ball, he pulled up too early, earning him an error. That reaction, he said later, was related to the ball that hit him around his right eye a couple weeks ago in Spring Training against the Phillies.
“I was a little scared with my eyes,” he said. “I came up and should’ve gone down.”
Cabrera escaped that play with a non-displaced fracture of the orbital floor below his eye, only because he was wearing sunglasses at third base that day. He realized immediately he was lucky. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about it, even though he was wearing sunglasses in the field Thursday.
“I talked to my teammates after,” he said, “and I’m going to be OK and play my game.”
Manager Jim Leyland reiterated his support for Cabrera.
“He’s fine,” Leyland said. “He’s going to be there [Saturday]. He’s going to be there all the time.”
While most of the Tigers position players were on their way to Jupiter to face the Cardinals on Wednesday, Miguel Cabrera took ground balls Wednesday morning at Joker Marchant Stadium as he grew closer to game-ready status.
At this point, it sounds iffy whether he’ll be back in the lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Nationals that will be broadcast back to Detroit on FSN. Cabrera hit in the cage along with Prince Fielder and Delmon Young, but he did not take a full batting practice on the field.
Cabrera shrugged off the question for Thursday, deferring to manager Jim Leyland and the team medical staff.
“If [Leyland] says tomorrow, I’ll be ready,” Cabrera said.
Infield coach Rafael Belliard, for his part, said Cabrera could use one more day of ground balls. The big picture, though, is that Cabrera should be ready soon enough to get back into games down the stretch before the Tigers break camp next Tuesday.
Miguel Cabrera won’t be re-examined by doctors until Tuesday morning, which will determine whether he’s cleared to play in time for the season. The way he’s feeling, though, leaves very little doubt in his mind.
“I’ll be ready. Don’t worry,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera said he has no pain in his right eye. The swelling is down, and he said his vision is fine. The only signs of lingering damage from the high-hopper he took a week ago are the stitches and the scar under his right eye.
Cabrera basically came to the ballpark Monday because he’s bored. He can’t do any physical activity until doctors. He also wanted to see some of his old friends on the Miami Marlins.
“I want to see Hanley,” he said. “I want to see Ozzie. I want to say hi to all my friends on the other side. I say hi to my friends here. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be here for practice.”
With all the free time on his hands, Cabrera said he has watched the replay of his fateful play several times. He wanted to see if there was anything he did incorrectly. He can’t find it.
“I was in good position. I was right there,” Cabrers said. “At the last second, I see the ball in my eyes.”