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An early glimpse at the Miguel Cabrera retirement tour

The Giants and Tigers meet for a short little thang.

Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat against the Giants Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera isn’t retiring this year, but he has stated his intention to retire after next season. Which means that, unless he gets traded, or the Detroit Tigers figure something out in record speed and meet the San Francisco Giants in one of the next two World Series, the Giants are hosting him for the final time.

Will there be a present, or gift baskets? Doubtful. But you can emotionally send them.

It’s easy to forget about Miggy, and how exceptional his career has been. He’s been stuck in the American League since 2008, and he’s been stuck in essentially-replacement-level-sometimes-a-tiny-bit-better-sometimes-a-tiny-bit-worse purgatory since 2017. So the Giants and their fans haven’t seen much of Cabrera over the last decade and a half, and MLB fans in general haven’t seen much of the Cabrera who will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in many a year.

But he’s a member of the 3,000-hit club. A member of the 500-homer club. An 11-time All-Star. A player who received MVP votes in each of his first 14 seasons, including winning the award twice, and finishing in the top five a grand total of seven times. In 2013 he not only was a triple crown winner in the AL, but led the entire Majors in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

So, enjoy him. The Giants will face him again in August, but this is surely his last pass through Oracle Park.

Series details

Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Detroit Tigers
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Tuesday (6:45 p.m. PT) and Wednesday (12:45 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (MLB Network, out of market only)

Projected starters:
Tuesday: Carlos Rodón vs. Tarik Skubal
Wednesday: Alex Wood vs. Rony Garcia

Where they stand


Record: 39-33, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +40, 6th in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st team out, 1 game back in the Wild Card, 6 games back in the division
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 4-6 in their last 10 games


Record: 28-44, 4th in the AL Central
Run differential: -97, 13th in the AL
Postseason standing: 12 games out of the Wild Card and the division
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 4-6 in their last 10 games

Three Giants to watch

Carlos Rodón getting his hand checked by the umpire Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Carlos Rodón: In his first year with the team, Rodón has been the Giants best player. His ERA of 2.70 has been elite, and his FIP of 2.34 has been even more elite. He’s striking out 11.4 batters per nine innings, and is on an absolute tear right now. In his last three games (during which time he’s faced the two teams that were in the NLCS last year), Rodón has the following line: 21 innings, 7 hits, 6 walks, 1 run, 26 strikeouts. What a treat he is. He also has plenty of experience facing the Tigers, since he spent his entire career up to this point playing in their division.

Brandon Belt: I’m very much here for Belt to start heating up. He’s having an OK offensive season, but his power has gone mostly absent. A year after leading the Giants with a .597 slugging percentage, Belt is all the way down to 13th, clocking in at just .378 ... the lowest mark of his career by a sizable margin. Please heat up, BB9.

Alex Wood: Don’t let Wood’s 5.05 ERA fool you. He’s having a perfectly fine season, with a 3.62 FIP. He’s also coming off a disastrous start in which he allowed twice as many runs (6) as he recorded outs (3). A bounceback game would be great, and he’s certainly facing an offense that should lend him a hand there.

Three Tigers to watch

Tarik Skubal throwing a pitch Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Tarik Skubal: What a fun pitching matchup Tuesday’s game is, as it pits two of the top ten pitchers in Fangraphs WAR against each other (Rodón is No. 7; Skubal is No. 10). Skubal’s ERA is a modest 3.63, but his FIP is 2.68, and he has a glistening 84 strikeouts to just 17 walks in 79.1 innings. He’s also given up just six homers all season, so the Giants may have to rely on rallies, which they’ve been quite poor at lately.

Miguel Cabrera: You already read my spiel, so I won’t talk too much about Miggy. I’ll just say that, despite being a shell of the player he once was, he’s still having a decent offensive season, with a 101 wRC+ and a 105 OPS+. The power is mostly gone — he has just three homers and seven doubles in 242 plate appearances — but he’s still an elite contact hitter, even at age 39, as he’s sporting a .296 batting average.

Jonathan Schoop: Want to know how bad the Tigers offense has been? Of the 18 position players they’ve used this year, 10 have been worth negative fWAR. Their best position player has been Schoop, who’s 1.0 fWAR is more than double that of their second-best player. And Schoop? He’s hitting .195/.230/.318, good for a whopping 53 wRC+ and 58 OPS+. It’s a sign of how exceptional his defense is that he’s still been providing positive value ... and a sign of how truly awful the team’s offense is that he’s so clearly their top position player.


Who wins the series?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Giants sweep
    (43 votes)
  • 30%
    (22 votes)
  • 9%
    Tigers sweep
    (7 votes)
72 votes total Vote Now