Cabrera Says Critics About His Weight "Have No Idea What They're Saying"

His various injuries have finally caught up to him.

97.1 The Ticket
September 09, 2019 - 2:50 pm

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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As injuries have mounted for Miguel Cabrera the past few years, so have the criticisms that he's out of shape and overweight. 

Never mind that he's frequently played hurt throughout his career. The critics, right or wrong, blame Cabrera for not taking better care of his body. 

And Cabrera is done hearing it. 

In a Spanish interview with Venezuelan baseball journalist Mari Montes, parts of which were translated by MLive, Cabrera said those critics are misinformed. 

“On social media, there are people who have no idea what they’re saying and to stop and pay attention to that is a waste of time. As for my weight, throughout my career, I’ve been criticized for that -- that I weigh too much, that I’m out of shape. It’s the same story every year," he said. 

Cabrera, 36, was diagnosed this season with chronic knee changes that will affect him for the rest of this career. To avoid exacerbating the issue, the Tigers have turned him into a full-time DH. The change has been hard on Cabrera, who has always enjoyed playing the field.

"It’s sad," he said when he first found out. "It's really sad." 

While the Tigers figure to keep Cabrera at DH if it helps prolong his career, Cabrera told Montes he's eyeing a return to first base next season. 

“(I went to DH) to avoid losing the season, because the doctor told me it was the only way I could do it. When my knee recovers next year, I think I will be in the field again.”

That remains to be seen. The Tigers don't have an obvious first baseman ready to take over, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Cabrera spend some time there in 2020.

Signed through 2023, Cabrera is almost certain to finish his career with the Tigers. He's 25 homers away from 500, a milestone he could reach in the next couple years. His career numbers have been a topic of conversation this season amid complaints -- raised mostly by former Tiger Nick Castellanos -- that Comerica Park suppresses offense. 

Cabrera, who's hitting .289 with just 10 long balls this season, agrees with Castellanos and others who say his home run count would be much higher if he played in a stadium where the fences weren't so far from plate. 

“They’re right," he said. "I would have more than 600.”

Who knows. What's clear is that Cabrera will keep taking his swings at Comerica, with the Tigers expecting him to play out his contract that pays him another $124 million over the next four years. 

"It's incumbent on him to say in good shape, and it's incumbent on us to make sure that we give him the proper treatment and the proper rest," Al Avila said after Cabrera's knee diagnosis. "If you’re able to keep that going, we should be able to keep him productive on the field through the remainder of his contract. That is our expectation. That is our hope."

And it's Cabrera's hope that the rebuilding Tigers will return to the playoffs before it's all said and done. 

“Being at this point with so many young players doesn’t mean in the future we can’t win it,” he said. “We’re always positive. People can say what they want to say.”