At some point there was a little bit of optimism about Victor Martinez potentially returning from knee surgery to play this season, but two weeks ago the Tigers said that was unlikely and today they officially ruled it out.
Team trainer Kevin Rand told Jason Beck of MLB.com that Martinez has run out of time in his rehab and will now focus on being 100 percent healthy for spring training.
Martinez underwent microfracture surgery in January, but has yet to be cleared for full-speed running. He was paid $12 million this season without taking an at-bat and is owed another $13 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014.
He had been slated to be the Tigers’ full-time designated hitter, but in Martinez’s absence the team’s DHs have combined to hit just .256 with 11 homers and a .674 OPS that ranks 12th in the AL.
The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.
The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.
Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”