Cabrera could be the last for a while to reach 3,000 hits

Apr 24, 2022, 12:02 PM | Updated: Apr 25, 2022, 9:03 am
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera greets his family after his 3,000th career hit duri...

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera greets his family after his 3,000th career hit during the first inning of the first baseball game of a doubleheader against the Rockies, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Miguel Cabrera reached the 3,000-hit mark on a weekend afternoon in front of an adoring crowd at his home ballpark in Detroit. It was a moment worthy of the milestone.

It could also be the last time it happens for a while.

In an era of high strikeout totals and low batting averages, there aren’t any other players who seem likely to reach 3,000 hits any time soon. In fact, the first few weeks of this season are a reminder of how current trends in baseball could affect which milestones remain in reach for the game’s top players.

Among active players, the next man on the career hits list is Robinson Canó with 2,631. Canó had a good season for the New York Mets in the shortened 2020 campaign, but he missed the whole 2021 season serving a drug suspension. Canó turns 40 in October.

Among players closer to their primes, 31-year-old Jose Altuve (1,783 hits) could have a shot, but the Houston Astros star hasn’t even reached 170 in a season since 2017. That was also the last time he played more than 146 games, and Altuve just went on the injured list with a hamstring problem.

Part of what helped Cabrera to the milestone was that he reached the big leagues at age 20. The same was true of Tampa Bay star Wander Franco last year. He has 103 hits in his first 85 games, but even if Franco goes on to have a Hall of Fame career, it’ll obviously be a while before has a chance to threaten a milestone like 3,000 hits.

The outlook is a little better for a power mark like 500 homers. Nelson Cruz has 451, and although he’s off to a slow start this year, don’t write off the 41-year-old Washington Nationals slugger. When the 2008 season ended, Cruz was 28 and had only 22 home runs in his career, so the fact that he’s this close to 500 shows how well he has kept hitting them at an advanced age.

For pitchers, the 300-win plateau feels like a pipe dream these days, and even strikeout milestones are no sure thing, since the top starters don’t throw as many innings as in the past. Max Scherzer of the Mets and Justin Verlander of the Astros, however, have already surpassed 3,000 strikeouts. Scherzer, 37, is the younger of those two. He struck out 236 last year for the Dodgers, and he’s now at 3,043 for his career.

It may be a lot to ask for Scherzer to get to 4,000 — which only four pitchers have ever done — but 3,500 could be realistic, and that would put him in the top 10 all-time.


Who are the four pitchers who have reached 4,000 strikeouts?


Ty France of the Seattle Mariners had five hits, including a three-run homer, in a 13-7 rout of Kansas City on Saturday night. France, who drove in five runs, had the first five-hit game for a Mariners player since 2018.


The Rays and Red Sox went through some wild swings of emotion Saturday night. Tampa Bay no-hit Boston for nine innings, but the game remained scoreless into the 10th, when Bobby Dalbec led off with an RBI triple for the Red Sox and scored on a sacrifice fly. After two straight strikeouts by the Rays to start the bottom of the inning, Trevor Story’s throwing error gave Tampa Bay a run and kept the game going. Kevin Kiermaier followed with a two-run homer to give the Rays a 3-2 win.


Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Steve Carlton.


Follow Noah Trister at


More AP MLB: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) poses for a photo with the championship trophy after...
Associated Press

Truex wins NASCAR’s sloppy return to Los Angeles Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Truex Jr. won NASCAR’s return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for its season-opening exhibition race — a sloppy Sunday night extravaganza in which the Wiz Khalifa halftime show might have been the most entertaining part of the event. Truex took the lead with 25 laps to go in the […]
20 hours ago
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts in the second half of an NBA basketball game against ...
Associated Press

Morant says friend banned from arena over Pacers dispute

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant tweeted Sunday that a friend of his has been banned from games at FedExForum for a year as a result of a confrontation between his supporters and members of the Indiana Pacers organization a week earlier. The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals have been banned from […]
20 hours ago
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (1) goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA...
Associated Press

Timberwolves cruise to 128-98 win against Jokic-less Nuggets

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — D’Angelo Russell had 14 of his 18 points in the first quarter and added 10 assists, Anthony Edwards scored 20 and the Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to a 128-98 win Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets, who were missing two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and three other starters on the second night of a […]
20 hours ago
New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green signals in the first half of an NBA basketball game ag...
Associated Press

Murphy scores season-high 30, Pelicans top Kings 136-104

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trey Murphy III highlighted his season-high 30-point performance with six 3-pointers — a couple from well behind the arc — and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of several starters to beat the Sacramento Kings 136-104 on Sunday night. “Just got to keep shooting, no matter if you hitting or […]
20 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton (18) drives against New York Knicks guard Quentin Grimes (6) ...
Associated Press

Knicks rally from 21 points down, beat 76ers 108-97

NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Jalen Brunson scored 21 points and the New York Knicks overcame an early 21-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-97 on Sunday night. Evan Fournier came off the bench to add 17 points for the Knicks, who were playing a […]
20 hours ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) drives against Memphis Grizzlies forward David Roddy (27...
Associated Press

Siakam, Raptors rally past Grizzlies 106-103 as Morant sits

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 19 points, including a pair of free throws with 9 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 106-103 on Sunday. Jaren Jackson Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left that would have tied the game for the Grizzlies, […]
20 hours ago
Cabrera could be the last for a while to reach 3,000 hits