Detroit Tigers: Cabrera landing on the IL opens door for Renato Nunez

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers have placed their future first-ballot Hall Of Fame first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, on the 10-day injured list with a biceps strain.

The injury occurred on Saturday evening in Clevland.  Cabrera fouled off a pitch in the seventh inning and quickly clutched his left arm.  Miguel completed that at-bat and returned to the field for the bottom of the seventh and eighth, but when his turn in the lineup came in the top of the ninth inning, it was JaCoby Jones hitting in his place.

At the time, I didn’t think anything of it because the Detroit Tigers were in the midst of getting blown out by the Indians for the second straight day.  It seemed manager A.J. Hinch was simply using this as an opportunity to get Jones an extra at-bat.

Jones is currently in a battle for playing time. With the emergence of Akil Baddoo, the outfield rotation remains robust.  It’s a group that includes Robbie Grossman and Nomar Mazara, who play nearly every day, plus Victor Reyes, Harold Castro, and Niko Goodrum, who continue to be mixed in on any given day.

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There is reason to be somewhat concerned about Cabrera’s injury.  In 2018 he ruptured a tendon in that left bicep and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.  Further back in 2016, he also had a left biceps strain and missed just a few days before returning to the lineup.

Here comes the boom.  The Detroit Tigers have selected the contract of Renato Nunez.

It was shocking to learn that Renato Nunez failed to make Detroit’s opening day 26-man roster.  The organization chose to keep an extra pitcher plus the likes of Goodrum and Jones despite their struggles at the plate.  Nunez decided to remain with the organization rather than hoping to earn an MLB job elsewhere; now, he will have his opportunity to stick in Detroit.

After placing Cabrera on the IL, the Tigers desperately need a middle of the lineup bat.  That’s exactly what Nunez is; the slugging corner infielder hit 31 home runs just two years ago with the Baltimore Orioles.

Nunez also drove in 90 runs in ’19 while hitting .244 but struck out nearly 24% of the time while only drawing a walk 7.3% of his plate appearances.

Last season with the COVID-19 shortened schedule, Nunez belted 12 home runs and drove in 31 runs while stashing a line of .256/.324/.492.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Tigers transferred starting pitcher Julio Teheran to the 60-day injured list after suffering a strained shoulder warming up before making his last scheduled start.

Next. For Robbie Grossman, looks can be deceiving at first glance. dark

The Detroit Tigers will quickly insert Nunez into their lineup.  He will hit fourth and serve as the designated hitter Sunday as the Tigers hope to salvage the finale.  Jonathan Schoop will start at first base.