NEW YORK -- Miguel Cabrera has put together another spectacular season. Making it even more remarkable is that it's come with a significant amount of nagging injuries.
"He's not OK," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "He's been playing through some difficulty, but playable, and we'll see how it plays out."
The Tigers' third baseman has been dealing with a abdominal wall strain near his hip flexor for a month, and he is also dealing with a sore knee and bruised shin after he fouled two balls off his leg while facing Mariano Rivera at Yankee Stadium back on Aug. 9.
Through it all, Cabrera hasn't slowed at the plate. He entered Friday's game against the Mets hitting .354 with 40 home runs and 123 RBIs. Cabrera has a .447 on-base percentage. In his first two at-bats against Mets starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, he hit a single and a three-run shot, bringing his homer total to 41 and his RBI total to 126.
Despite the pain and soreness he's battling, his production has remained unmatched.
"For the most part, I don't think it bothers him hitting," Leyland said. "Evidently he can use the lower half to hit."
Instead, Leyland said, the pains take their toll when Cabrera's in the field. Making quick moves to field a ball or having to run in to make a play at third are when the injuries can have the bigger effect.
But with designated hitter Victor Martinez -- who started behind the plate in Friday's game -- hitting so well, Cabrera's not likely to see much time there through the end of the season. Perhaps if Martinez needed a day off, then Leyland said Cabrera could DH, but that would probably be the only scenario for Leyland to do that.
Leyland also said he'll keep it "in-house" as to whether or not he'd give Cabrera a day off, but he would probably speak to the medical staff to see if it's necessary.
But there's no question Cabrera's fighting through some significant pain.
"He's not playing real comfortable right now," Leyland said. "We know that."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less