Victor Martinez looks great, is ready to go for 2013

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I tend to put little stock in “Player X is feeling great, killing balls in the batting cage and ready to kick butt this year!” stories. Everyone is optimistic in spring training.

But maybe I should make an exception for those stories involving the Detroit Tigers.  Last year that was the buzz about Miguel Cabrera. He lost weight, got in shape, was dedicated and was killing balls in Lakeland. All he did was go on and win the Triple Crown and the MVP. Si or no, motherf****r?

With that in mind, Victor Martinez is healthy again and down in Lakeland. Tom Gage reports:

“Victor looks unbelievable,” McClendon said about Martinez, the Tigers’ designated hitter who missed all of last year because of left knee surgery. “I am really, really impressed with what I’ve seen.

“He’s in great shape, and he’s swinging the bat extremely well. A lot of zip, a lot of pop, it doesn’t look like he’s lost anything.”

Losing Delmon Young and adding Victor Martinez is gonna be a good, good thing for Detroit.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.