Victor Martinez would catch if the Tigers let him

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Absent a sitcom-like case of frying-pan-to-the-head-induced amnesia, they won’t let him. But Victor Martinez would love to get behind the plate:

“Hopefully by the end of the season I’ll be able to get behind the plate.” Martinez said he could catch right now if the Tigers asked him to.

“I’m pretty healthy,” he said. “That’s not a concern at all. If they need me (to catch), I’ll definitely be there. It’s not a question. It’s not a question.”

Martinez caught 26 games in 2011. And missed 2012 with an ACL. So, sure, I guess if the playoffs came and the Tigers were in need of an emergency catcher they might put Martinez back there, but I’d be utterly shocked if he actually donned the tools of ignorance for the Tigers again. Heck, even in the playoff scenario it would be sub-optimal given that it would likely cost the Tigers their DH in that situation.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.