Tigers slugger Victor Martinez was cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A Toledo and he will remain with the Mud Hens through Thursday. There’s nothing official yet, but V-Mart is expected to meet up with the Tigers this Friday at Yankee Stadium and it figures that he’ll be activated for the club’s weekend series against the Yankees.
“Whether he’s activated or not, that’s an issue we’ll have to see how he feels, if he feels like he’s ready,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told MLive.com.
Martinez has been on the disabled list since May 19 because of inflammation in his surgically-repaired left knee. He was batting just .216/.308/.270 with one home run in 130 plate appearances before the injury, but the 36-year-old designated hitter should be able to get it going in a hurry if his health cooperates.
Detroit re-signed V-Mart to a four-year, $68 million free agent contract this past offseason.
Justin Verlander will make his long-awaited season debut this afternoon against the Indians and an important part of the Tigers’ lineup isn’t too far away from a return.
According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, the plan calls for Victor Martinez to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Triple-A Toledo as he works his way back from inflammation in his surgically-repaired left knee. He’s slated to play four games before being re-evaluated.
Martinez, 36, had surgery on the knee in the spring and it has clearly impacted his performance at the plate. He was batting just .216 with one home run and a .516 OPS through 130 plate appearances prior to landing on the disabled list last month. The hope is that he rest will prove beneficial.
Victor Martinez returned from February knee surgery in time for Opening Day and has played 34 of 39 games for the Tigers, but he’s clearly looked less than full strength and now he’s “likely” headed to the disabled list according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Last season Martinez hit .335 with 32 homers and a .974 OPS, striking out just 42 times in 641 plate appearances on the way to finishing runner-up in the MVP voting. This season Martinez has hit .216 with one homer and a .578 OPS, striking out 13 times in 130 plate appearances. That includes a rare three-strikeout game last week as part of Martinez’s current 0-for-13 stretch.
Certainly plenty of 36-year-olds simply decline, so it’s possible age has played a part in Martinez’s plummeting production, but just from watching his at-bats it seems clear that he’s having trouble putting weight on his surgically repaired knee. Detroit re-signed Martinez to a four-year, $68 million contract this offseason, so they’re betting big on him avoiding an age-related decline and have lots of motivation to take a long-term approach to his health by shutting him down for a while.
Victor Martinez got a few days off this week to rest his surgically-repaired left knee, but he’s back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the White Sox.
Martinez had a minor scare with his knee last Saturday. He was in the lineup one day later, but has been limited to pinch-hitting duties since, partially because the Tigers were playing the Pirates under National League rules this week. However, he was on the bench again last night against the White Sox while Yoenis Cespedes served as the designated hitter.
V-Mart is 6-for-23 (.261) with five walks over eight games this season. The Tigers will have to hope that the rest did him well.
Victor Martinez is out of the Tigers’ lineup for a fourth straight game stemming from the “pinch” in the 36-year-old’s surgically repaired knee that he felt Saturday. He also apparently has a sore back today.
Martinez actually played Sunday, but hasn’t started since then. The first three of those games came in an NL ballpark so there was no designated hitter spot for Martinez and he did make a pinch-hitting appearance, but the fact that he remains on the bench despite returning to AL rules today in Detroit is worrisome.
Yoenis Cespedes is in the DH spot today, with Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose both in the lineup.