The WBC has been a lot of fun this year, but Miguel Cabrera’s tournament is over after his back tightened up on Thursday night.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 17, 2017
Leyland says he doesn't think Miguel Cabrera will play again in WBC, but he doesn't know for sure.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 17, 2017
That’s bad news for team Venezuela, already in a perilous position and facing elimination. (Which could come as soon as tonight, if Puerto Rico knocks off the United States.
There is a bit of good news, though, as Brad Ausmus told the media that from what he knows of the situation, the injury isn’t going to jeopardize Cabrera’s availability for the start of the regular season.
Cabrera left in the sixth inning of Venezuela’s loss to the Dominican Republic in San Diego.
“I just got a text from Omar (Vizquel) this morning saying his back tightened up and he’s fine. Don’t think it’s anything more than that,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Vizquel, the Tigers first base coach, is managing the Venezuelan team.
Injury risk is the main factor limiting a full embrace of the WBC. Players don’t want to get hurt for obvious reasons, teams don’t want their players to get hurt for equally obvious reasons. Granted, players could in theory be injured just as easily in any spring training game or random household mishap. (Or, my favorite: drinking and then falling into a dumpster.)
But there is a difference between playing competitive games (especially with national pride on the line, especially for pitchers) and playing exhibitions. As long as injuries are mild and properly managed, like Cabrera’s back issue, there shouldn’t be much outcry.