Miguel Cabrera has 276 RBI combined over the last two seasons. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Detroit – The Tigers’ annual caravan will be next week, highlighted by TigerFest on Jan. 25, but here already is the answer to the first question.
After his surgery to repair a painful groin tear following last season, how is back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera looking?
“Normal, great -- both,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila said Wednesday in a phone conversation. “I think the fans will have a lot of peace of mind next week when they see that for themselves.”
Avila and Cabrera don’t train together during the offseason in southern Florida, but they do have the same trainer, so it’s not uncommon for them to see each other.
Avila called his own offseason routine, “except for the addition to the family” – meaning his daughter, Avery Noelle, who was born last April.
“It’s been a wonderful offseason in that regard,” he said.
But for Cabrera, the winter has not been routine because of the surgery he underwent as soon as the season ended.
The Tigers called it “successful core muscle repair surgery,” because that’s how Philadelphia-based surgeon Dr. William Meyers described it.
Last week, Justin Verlander’s corrective procedure was described the same way.
Cabrera, however, told ESPNdeportes.com that his surgery “repaired three muscles in my groin that connect to my abdomen.”
At the same time, Cabrera told Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com that “the doctor said he didn’t understand how I could have played with so much pain.
“It hurt so much that I almost couldn’t lift my right leg.”
Following the surgery, the Tigers announced that Cabrera was expected to be ready for spring training – which, it appears, is already the case.
“He looks fine,” said Avila, “which everyone in Detroit is going to be able to see for themselves next week.”
Cabrera was slowed by the injury in the final two months of last season, but easily won his second consecutive MVP award all the same with a .348 batting average, 44 home runs and 137 RBI.
The 148 games in which he played, however, were his lowest total since he became a full-time player in the majors for the Florida Marlins in 2004.