Tigers’ outfielder J.D. Martinez is poised to make his season debut after being activated off the 10-day disabled list on Friday. He was diagnosed with a Lisfranc ligament sprain in his right foot back in mid-March, when he rolled his foot while trying to make a catch during a Grapefruit League game. He’s set to join the team on the road as they continue a four-game series against the Angels at 10:07 ET.
If Martinez’s return feels a little fast, that’s because it is. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus told reporters that he initially wanted the right fielder to take a few more reps in Triple-A before making a return to the majors. That timetable was scrapped when fellow outfielder Jim Adduci suffered an oblique injury during batting practice on Thursday and forced Ausmus to rearrange his outfield options. By Ausmus’ calculations, Martinez saw over 50 at-bats during extended spring training and multiple stints at Triple-A Toledo and High-A Lakeland, and should be healthy enough to man right field in Adduci’s absence. The team is likely to take things slow with the 29-year-old outfielder, however, at least until they’re confident that his foot won’t cause additional problems.
Martinez went 1-for-15 with Toledo this spring, collecting one home run, two RBI and two walks in four games. He hit his second home run in High-A Lakeland, going 3-for-8 with another two RBI in his final two rehab appearances. He’s coming off of his third full season with the Tigers, during which he batted a solid .307/.373/.535 with 22 home runs and a .908 OPS over 460 PA.