Swe3tKissezz06 Posted September 16, 2004 Share Posted September 16, 2004 Miguel Cabrera is focused on helping the Marlins make the playoffs, not his numbers. It's just a matter of time before Miguel Cabrera joins the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols as 21-year-olds to reach the 100-RBI plateau. Cabrera, who turned 21 in April, entered Monday with 97 RBIs and is on the brink of producing the eighth 100-RBI season in Marlins history. As one of the rising stars in the game, Cabrera is arguably the Marlins' MVP, posting a .308 average and 28 home runs heading into Monday's game. Since being called up last June, Cabrera has achieved incredible milestones at such a young age. Cabrera was a postseason hero as a rookie, batting cleanup in the World Series. "Sometimes we take what he does for granted," Marlins general manager Admin Beinfest said. "He's been so good since Day 1." To put what Cabrera is doing in perspective, consider A-Rod and Pujols topped 100 RBIs when they turned 21, Mickey Mantle had his first 100-RBI season in 1954, at age 23, and Ken Griffey Jr. did it in 1991 at 22. "It's not often you see guys do what he has in their first year-and-a-half: All-Star team, World Series champion," Beinfest said. Cabrera is less focused on his numbers and more concerned about winning. The number he is focused on now is making up the 2 1/2 games the Marlins are out in the NL Wild Card race. "I like to win," the Venezuelan native said. "I want to win this year too. I just want to produce for the team. If I help the team, I will produce RBIs. That's how I think. I'm excited about getting 100 RBIs, it being my first time." Comeback player? If not for St. Louis right-hander Chris Carpenter, A.J. Burnett would be a leading candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. Still, pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal believes Burnett should get his share of votes for the award. Rebounding from Tommy John surgery, Burnett improved his record to 7-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.78 after allowing one run over eight innings to the Cubs on Sunday. Carpenter, who missed all of 2003 with shoulder surgery, is 15-5 with a 3.53 ERA. Burnett has won four straight decisions and his ERA over that span is 1.84 (six runs over 29 1/3 innings). With an overpowering fastball, Burnett is progressing each outing. "If Carpenter wins 20, he will be tough to beat," Rosenthal said for comeback player honors. "But A.J. should be right up there with him." Undecided starter: When the doubleheader is scheduled, either Wednesday or Thursday, the likely second-game pitcher will be Nate Bump. For now, it has not been decided. Ben Howard and Aaron Small also will get consideration. Manager Jack McKeon said to leave the matter blank. "We're going to get blank in there," McKeon quipped. "Blank replaced undecided." As for the second game of next Monday's doubleheader against the Cubs at Pro Player Stadium, the Marlins are scheduled to throw Carl Pavano in Game 1. Dontrelle Willis, who pitches on Thursday, is a choice to pitch on three days' rest and go in the second game. Home cooking: To make the Marlins feel at home, an Areca palm plant was sent to the Marlins' clubhouse. A note reading: "To your second home, welcome Marlins." Making the most of their new home, McKeon joked about the size of the manager's office. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was the Marlins' third base coach the past two seasons. "He was so popular in Chicago, I thought they'd have a bigger office for him," McKeon said of Guillen's office. McKeon took playful shots of all the pictures of Guillen on the wall. "It was nice of Ozzie, he left me his checkbook," McKeon said, holding up a checkbook left on the desk. "It was nice of the guy. He was worried about me stealing his pictures, and he leaves me his checkbook." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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