WATCH: Cabrera 'This really sucks' reluctantly becomes full-time DH to protect knee

Miguel Cabrera is reluctantly moving into a full-time role as designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers as he tries to avoid losing a second straight season to injury.

The longtime corner infielder only played 38 games in 2018 because of a ruptured biceps tendon. This season, he's dealing with chronic soreness in his right knee.

Doctors considered operating on the knee but decided to see how it responds to a life without defensive responsibilities.

"It's sad," Cabrera said Tuesday. "I like being in the field."

He added that not having to undergo surgery is "really good news."

If Cabrera's knee improves, it could help revive one of baseball's worst offenses. He needs the knee to be healthy to drive the ball - something he has struggled with all season. Cabrera is hitting .284 in 54 games but has just two homers and a career-worst .356 slugging percentage.

"I have been dealing with this for two months, and I just have to keep dealing with the soreness and the pain," he said. "My goal is to go out there and do my job."