Hamstring, not knee, forces Victor Martinez out of game

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Victor Martinez (and his many knee injuries) gave Tigers fans a scare when he exited today’s game clutching his left leg while running the bases, but the 38-year-old designated hitter has been diagnosed with a strained hamstring.

While not exactly good news that qualifies as positive news in that hamstring injuries heal in weeks rather than months and Martinez’s surgically repaired knee remains intact.

For now the Tigers are calling it a mild strain, but given Martinez’s age and overall health they figure to be pretty conservative with his recovery timetable even if things go well.

After a career-best 2014 season that saw him finish runner-up in the MVP voting and get a new four-year, $68 million contract Martinez struggled mightily last year, hitting .245 with 11 homers and a career-worst .667 OPS while dealing with knee problems throughout.

Dustin Pedroia going back on injured list

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Welp, that didn’t last long. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is going back on the injured list with more knee issues. If it matters the Sox say it’s not a big deal and they expect him back sooner rather than later, but they also said that his post-2017 knee surgery was just a “cleanup” at first and that basically cost him a year. So.

Pedroia has played in six games and is 2-for-20 with a walk.

I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that Pedroia’s career may be nearing an end. Sure, he’s under contract for two more years after this season, but he’s also in a unfortunate spiral that so many players experience in their mid-to-late 30s.

Running a website like this makes it all the clearer, actually. When you search a player’s name in our CMS, you get every post in which he appears in reverse chronological order. Just about every long-tenured player ends with about six posts in which he is alternately placed on and activated from the disabled/injured list. Then an offseason link to a big feature in which he’s written about as being “at a crossroads” followed by something vague about “resuming baseball activities” and then, inevitably, the retirement announcement. I can’t count the number of guys whose careers I can tick off in that way by browsing the guts of this site.

I hope that’s not the case for Pedroia. I hope that there’s a “Pedroia wins Comeback Player of the Year” post in the future. Or at the very least a silly “Miller’s Crossing” reference in an “And that Happened” in which I say “the old man’s still an artist with the Thompson” after he peppers the ball around in some 3-for-4, two-double game. I want that stuff to happen.

It’s just that, if you watch this game long enough, you realize how unlikely that is once a player starts to break down.