Cabrera clearly was baseball’s most dominant hitter for most of the season as the Tigers won their third straight AL Central crown.
But an assortment of injuries hobbled him down the stretch and into the playoffs, and he had surgery after the season to repair a groin tear. Cabrera is expected to be ready for spring training.
Voting for the BBWAA awards was done before the playoffs. Cabrera hit .262 with two homers and seven RBIs in 11 postseason games, and made a couple of key outs in Detroit’s six-game loss to Boston in the AL Championship Series.
Cabrera was in contention for a second straight Triple Crown for much of the year, and was hitting .359 with 43 homers and 130 RBIs through Aug. 26. But injuries began to take their toll, and he managed only two extra-base hits in his next 25 games through the end of the regular season.
An eight-time All-Star, Cabrera missed several games after the break because of a bad back, a sore left flexor, a strain in his lower abdomen, shin trouble and the groin problem.
Despite the injuries, Cabrera became the first right-handed hitter to win three straight batting titles in either league since Rogers Hornsby in 1920-25.
Cabrera also kept amazing his teammates with his prowess at the plate.
In mid-August, he homered in all three games of a series at Yankee Stadium, twice connecting off career saves leader Mariano Rivera.
His shot in the opener was the most impressive, even though Detroit eventually lost. After fouling two balls off his left shin, Cabrera was having trouble standing in the batter’s box when he tagged Rivera for a tying, two-run drive with two outs in the ninth inning.
Cabrera had bedeviled the Yankees before. As a 20-year-old rookie, he helped the Marlins beat New York in the 2003 World Series.