Former Tiger Jose Iglesias rooting for Miguel Cabrera to hit 500th home run — on Friday

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Hard to believe, but this was Jose Iglesias’ first game back at Comerica Park since he parted ways with the Tigers after the 2018 season.

“It’s great to be back, to see the love from the fans,” Iglesias said, waving to a couple of fans behind the Angels dugout who were holding a “Welcome Home, Jose Iglesias” sign. “I love it."

Jose Iglesias (1) was Miguel Cabrera's teammate in Detroit from 2013-18.

Iglesias has played on three different teams since he left Detroit, spending a year in Cincinnati, another in Baltimore and this year with the Angels.

“Changing teams every year, it’s not fun,” he said. “It’s been a grind for me. But on the other hand, I’ve gotten the opportunity to play with some great players. I’ve got to play with Mike Trout, (Shohei) Ohtani, Joey Votto, so many good players.”

At the top of that list, of course, is Miguel Cabrera, who he played with for five seasons (2013-2018).

“Miggy and I were 24/7 like 7-11,” Iglesias said. “We were together all day long. I learned a lot from Miggy. His consistency, his leadership. He’s a unique player. He can be difficult at times, but generous Miggy is great.

“I love Miggy. He is my friend and I couldn’t be happier for him to achieve this milestone for everything he’s been through.”

About that milestone, Iglesias is pulling for Cabrera to hit No. 500 — like on Friday after he and the Angels leave town.

“This is very exciting for him,” Iglesias said. “I hope he does it after these next three days, not against us. The guy has played through a lot. It will be a great achievement for him and his family.”

Iglesias, who was hitting fourth in Joe Maddon's lineup Tuesday, is having a so-so year by his standards. He’s slashing .267/.298/.385 with eight home runs, 39 RBIs and 49 runs scored. But, never a sabermetric darling despite his slick defensive skills, he’s a minus-15 defensive runs saved.

He’s 31 and will again be a free agent after this season.

“My next move will be home,” he said. “The next team I sign with, I want it to be home. Being on four different teams, in four different places, in four different divisions the last four years, like I said, it’s been a grind. I’m ready to find a home.”

Twitter: @cmccosky