Spare Parts: Miguel Cabrera done for the year

Plus: Jose Abreu leads All-Star voting, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer face questions, and more

“Are you injured or are you hurt?” is one of those alpha sports phrases that aims to inspire a hobbled body to rise above pain.

Miguel Cabrera’s body has embodied this. He’s been hurt most of the time over the last several years, but he’d still averaged 143 games a season over the first four seasons of his 30s. He’s also batted .314/.395/.536 over that stretch, showing that he could still hit at 80 percent. The missing 20 percent just stole from his defensive and baserunning capabilities.

But Cabrera was more on the “injured” side of the spectrum in 2017, posting a below-average OPS for the first time in his career and missing 32 games. Entering Tuesday, his performance in 2018 rebounded (.299/.395/.448), but his health hadn’t. He’d appeared in just 37 of the Tigers’ first 67 games due to hamstring issues.

In his 38th — and final — game of the year on Tuesday, a different part did in him. He ruptured his left biceps tendon on a swing, and given the pain he’d played through, you knew it had to be bad when he simply dropped the bat and walked to the clubhouse.

Cabrera still has five years and $162 million left on his deal, which pays him $30 million annually through 2021, and $32 million the two years after that, with an $8 million buyout for a club option afterward.

Spare parts

Jose Abreu stands a decent chance at becoming the first White Sox position player to be named an All-Star starter since Frank Thomas in 1996. He leads Mitch Moreland by 26,000 votes at first base.

Teddy Greenstein was the one who asked Rick Renteria if they had thoughts about sending Lucas Giolito down during his mostly maddening 2018 season, and this is why.

Carson Fulmer’s story arc runs alongside Giolito’s as a pitcher who struggled a little worse, and who the White Sox have returned to the minors multiple times. Rick Hahn finally floated the idea of the bullpen in a way that gave it more gravity.

“We’ve told you before that we’ve tried to accumulate as much potential front-of-the-rotation talent and that ultimately there’s probably not going to be room at the end for everyone who is capable of being in a big league rotation and some of those will play a role in bullpens,” Hahn said. “It’s possible in our view of him as a starter or not, it’s possible Carson is one of those guys who winds up being a dominant reliever, but for now we’re going to continue to give him opportunities to pitch in the rotation in Charlotte.”

The White Sox scouting director spins some yarns about draft night. He admits up top that somebody in his position is always going to express confidence about his draft, but he mentioned the need to take chances with high school players later in the interview.

I made up that headine because not one story quite sums it up, but Haniger and Trout both homered twice, and they both made incredible defensive plays. Trout made a leaping catch at the wall, and Haniger gunned down a runner at second (with assistance from a slick tag by Jean Segura).

And finally, thanks to Jed for making everybody aware of this video from a couple years ago, in which Noah Syndergaard gets ejected for throwing at Chase Utley, and Terry Collins goes nuts for not getting a chance to avenge Utley’s dirty slide in the postseason the year before.

It’s fun to hear the politics underneath the decision, and the desperation in Collins’ plea is a surprisingly affecting (“You gotta give us a shot!”) considering his pitcher tried to commit assault with a fastball.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Josh Nelson

Last call for tickets to the weekend’s meetup. If you need a ticket to the game, email me at If you can’t meet us at the game, but want to hang out afterwards, we’ll be at The Ballpark Pub

514 W. Pershing Rd.
Chicago, Illinois 60609


I really need to make the trip to one of these.

lil jimmy

Miggy done for the year but,
“For a player who’ll turn 36 next April and is still owed an otherworldly $162MM from 2019-23”
The Tigers are screwed, glued, and Tatooed


I have a great deal of respect for what Miggy has done over his career, but what does your front office have to be smoking to make that kind of offer. They deserve everything including the Tatoo!!


Worst part is he had like 2 or 3 seasons left on his contract when they gave him the extension.

Greg Nix

This is why the people who have been calling for an Abreu extension since last season should chill out. The Tigers extended Miggy two years before they had to and here’s the result. 


While I can see your point, no one is advocating a 10 year extension for Abreu. That would seem to be a pretty big difference. I would still like a 3 year extension or so for Jose. Something like the Santana or Encarnacion deals.


It made perfect sense to an octogenarian owner who had lots of money, little time, and wanted one more shot at the World Series.

It made no sense for the well-being of the organization. I am grateful that Jerry Reinsdorf was convinced to go for a rebuild rather than pursue his low-budget version of “going for it” to diminishing returns.

Greg Nix

I wasn’t aware the returns could diminish any further.


C’mon, you know the mantra of Chicago sports fans: Things Can Always Get Worse.


Yep do not like the tigers but wish their late owner had one WC.


Dombrowski was able to skedaddle into a better job. Wonder if he’ll sign Kimbrel through age 42.


That signing seemed like an ownership mandate. Who knows if that’s true, but a lot of people think that.


I know, I was responding to the “front office smoking” comment. But it probably got Dombrowski looking for an exit strategy no matter if it was his idea or the owner’s.



Lurker Laura

I feel bad for him, great player and all, but I blinked several times when I saw he had five years left on his contract. Pretty sure he’s been around 20 years already. That’s bananas.


I was shocked at the 5 years, too. But I was also surprised to see how good he’d been the last few years. I’d thought he dropped off more than that.


Pujols has 3 more years left and is three years older.

Josh Nelson

Anaheim is going to have a tough decision they’ll need to make with Pujols. No way they’ll keep him in the lineup everyday.

As Cirensica

Trout is having the best Trout season ever. Mariners lost Cano and King Felix is just a shadow of what he used to be. Astros are not finding ways to replicate last year’s success, and yet, Anaheim can’t find a way be on 3rd place.

We all know perfectly well how having dreadfull complementary players can suck up WAR from the good players. I think Anaheim needs to make a decision THIS year about Pujols and other players that are just not contributing.

Also, Scioscia is just awful. Ventura awful.

Reindeer Games

Anaheim is done.  They lost their best pitcher and one of their best hitters for the year.

As Cirensica

Is Ohtani done for the year?

karkovice squad

There are rumblings of potentially getting the Micker Adolfo treatment.

Reindeer Games

Seems like that would be a crazy risk for a player who derives the vast majority of his value from pitching.  


The timeline on him being available to come back might not be much different if he had surgery now or ends up having to have it in a couple months, either way he’s probably not pitching again until 2020 if he has TJS. So they probably figure why not see if there’s still value to be had this year.

Lurker Laura

Done pitching this year. Might be able to hit later in the season. TJ has been rumored in worst-case scenario.


Maybe not so much. A lot of these owners obtain insurance policies that cover part of a player’s salaries in situations like this. Not that I would mind if they were.


Man, that’s a lot of jabbering packed into 2:02….


Is anyone else less worried about Fulmer than Giolito? I feel like with Carson you don’t really have to squint to see an effective if not dominant MLB reliever. The stuff is there, he just can’t repeat his delivery consistently enough to harness the movement on his fastball to start, at least at the moment. 

With Giolito you’ve got inconsistent fastball velocity and seemingly no feel for his curveball at all. You can just as easily see him wash out as stick as a MLB starter.

It seems like Fulmer has the higher floor.

Lurker Laura

Worried about Fulmer only if he and/or Sox insist on keeping him as a starter. I do think there may be an effective reliever somewhere in there.

My own personal jury is still out on my worry level for Giolito.

karkovice squad

Fulmer hasn’t even shown an ability to consistently get outs as an ML reliever. It’s still wishcasting to think that becoming a reliever will flip the switch that gives him control.

Giolito showed he’s capable of being a serviceable starter last season even if the ace results greatly exceeded the more average peripherals. It’s way more likely that he can at least get his mechanics sorted enough to get back to that point, let alone just consistently make 3 out appearances, than for Fulmer to first show something he’s yet to accomplish.

I’m more worried about the likelihood Giolito has an arm injury or will have another one, though.

As Cirensica

Fulmer has shown an ability to strikeout hitters. Giolito K% is just terrible. I tend to prefer the pitchers with higher K%. Edge to Fulmer in my book.

karkovice squad

Those walks, though. He walks almost as many as he Ks. And as long as he walks players like that he won’t even be useful if he could match Hader’s K rate and only entered with the bases clear.


Unlike Fulmer, Giolito has shown an ability to get through two innings without giving up runs.

As Cirensica

Yeah well…we can agree that maybe my midget is taller, but not by much

Lurker Laura

My reasoning for thinking that Fulmer has reliever potential is that his stuff does have life on it, or so they say, and if he can concentrate on consistency of delivery for only 2 pitches in an arsenal instead of 3 or 4, then maybe there’s something there. 

karkovice squad

Sure. But he’s been given a chance to relieve and couldn’t manage that.

So I’ll err on the side of the guy who was able to string together some decent starts being more likely to at least hack it as a reliever over the guy who has already failed at that.

Lurker Laura

I like Giolito better, too, or at least have higher hopes for him.


He’s been given less than 20 innings in relief in the majors after having little to no experience working out of the bullpen before.

If Fulmer’s brief relief stint is enough to write him off as a reliever, than Giolito’s 100+ IP of being one of worst starters in the league is certainly enough to abandon him.

karkovice squad

For starters, the question is a comparison of Giolito to Fulmer, not an absolute judgment. And the answer is Giolito es mas macho.

For seconds, even if we were writing off Fulmer, their track records aren’t comparable enough to make that logic stick.



Lurker Laura

Who do the Sox promote from AA to fill his spot? Or do they just claim somebody else off of waivers?

Josh Nelson

All-Star break is coming up. Could see Brian Clark, Ian Hamilton, or Ryan Burr moved to Charlotte.

Lurker Laura

I believe the Sox are obligated to promote Hamilton and Burr together from now until the end of time.


I would pay to watch them duel at 60 feet 6 inches for the final roster spot.

Lurker Laura

Well done. T.J. House has been released, Nate on the DL, Minaya up to Sox. Three spots open in AAA, yes? Hamilton, Burr, do they have a Jefferson down there in AA?


Sadly, Jefferson Olacio is no longer a Birmingham Baron. Maybe Jefferson Mendoza will one day catch Hamilton and Burr.


What’s Jesse Jefferson doing these days?

Lurker Laura

Oh, yeah. Good one!

lil jimmy



Even Baltimore didn’t want him.


So do the Mets send us somebody for Beck, or do they just get him?

As Cirensica

We get nothing

Lurker Laura

We get an open roster spot in AAA to promote some worthy youngsters.