Victor Martinez could catch early in the season

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Victor Martinez has caught five games over the past two seasons. He’s really a DH these days who can spot at first base. But if Miguel Cabrera is healthy enough to go by the second week of the season — a big if — V-Mart could catch. From the Free Press:

The Tigers play their annual interleague rivalry with the Pirates on April 13-15 in Pittsburgh, meaning that National League rules will eliminate the designated hitter.

“If Miggy’s available, then Victor would be an option at catcher,” manager Brad Ausmus said this week.

If he’s not, then Martinez would be the first baseman.

 

Too bad that series comes so early. If usual form holds, Alex Avila will be about 96% beaten to dust by August and could use the break then.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.