Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera has joined the American League MVP conversation in spite of Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout being this year's favorite. The Tigers are also refuting an ESPN report saying Cabrera will require offseason ankle surgery.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is back in the American League MVP conversation.
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CBS Sports' (via Yahoo Sports) Jon Heyman argues Cabrera's case this year isn't as strong as it was in the past two seasons with Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout being favored to win the accolade. Over in the National League, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey could possibly make it a three-way race among himself, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, per Heyman:
"Buster Posey, former NL MVP, wasn't anywhere to be seen in this year's MVP discussion for most of the season. But the Giants catcher's big start to September could change that.
"It's the same story for Miguel Cabrera, two-time reigning AL MVP.
"Posey had such an unspectacular start he didn't even make the NL All-Star team, but a very nice August followed by his superhuman start to September raises the possibility he could impose himself into an NL race that has been fairly seen as a two-man competition between Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the current favorite, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
"Cabrera has been solid at bat far enough off the pace of his past two seasons that folks have wondered aloud about his soundness (he still doesn't look like he's running normally). Now the Tigers first baseman is showing signs he could start warranting mention in an AL MVP race that has nearly been conceded to rival Mike Trout, the Angels wunderkind who finished second to Cabrera the past two years despite some cries from within the stat set.
"Posey very likely won't be able to overtake Stanton, who leads the league in virtually every important offensive category, or even Kershaw, the two-time NL Cy Young winner who is having another season for the ages. But he could provide an interesting alternative to those voters who either favor players on playoff teams (the Giants, who trail the Dodgers by two games in the NL are in a wild-card position, unlike Stanton's Marlins) or position players (pitchers are a last for some voters, though Kershaw's start is eerily similar to Sandy Koufax's in his 1963 season).
"Cabrera was receiving more sympathy than support heading into September. But just like Posey, he's hitting his way at least into the discussion. Trout has been brilliant almost all year and remains a clear MVP leader, and Cabrera is a good distance away. Trout's strikeouts are up, his stolen bases are down and the perception of his defense isn't quite what it is the past two years. Even in arguably his third-best season, he has been amazing, thanks to improved power totals and incredible overall talent."
Meanwhile, The Detroit News' Chris McCoskey reported on Sept. 8 that the Tigers are refuting an ESPN report from Buster Olney saying Cabrera needs to undergo offseason ankle surgery:
"The Tigers are refuting an ESPN report that Miguel Cabrera will need surgery in the offseason to repair his injured right ankle.
"'I don't know where he's getting that,' manager Brad Ausmus said after the Tigers' 6-1 win against the Giants. 'We don't know if he's requiring surgery. We don't know if it'll be rest or surgery and that will be determined after the season is over.'
"ESPN"s Buster Olney also reported that the cause of Cabrera's ankle pain was bone spurs.
"That's what's causing the irritation,' Ausmus said. 'Not spurs, I would say just one. That was the consensus. But whether it's rest that will help the irritation go down or whether at some time he's going to need surgery, we don't know that yet.'"
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