Tigers pivot Cabrera to DH role due to knee issue

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Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera will be limited to designated hitter for the foreseeable future after being diagnosed with “chronic changes” to his right knee, the team announced Tuesday.

Tigers trainer Doug Teter told reporters that the changes are the “natural result of attrition” and said Cabrera will deal with this issue for the rest of his career.

Cabrera, 36, consulted with four surgeons, including Dr. James Andrews, but surgery was not recommended, Teter said. Cabrera said Tuesday he doesn’t consider it an option.

“Forget about that,” he told reporters. “I’m done with that.”

Cabrera, who is in the lineup for Tuesday’s home game with the Tampa Bay Rays, is batting .284 this season, but his power numbers are down significantly, with 2 home runs and 22 RBIs.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012 and won back-to-back American League MVP awards in 2012 and 2013. He signed an eight-year, $248 million contract with the Tigers in 2014. He has five years and $154 million remaining on the deal, and will be making $32 million per year at ages 39 and 40.

Cabrera missed most of the 2018 season after having surgery in June for a biceps tear.

“The only advice I can say to young kids is take care of their body when they have to. When they have something, stop playing for a week and come back. Don’t play through pain, because you’re going to pay the price later.”

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