Victor Martinez, the Detroit Tigers' All-Star DH, remains out of the lineup with lingering side soreness. He will miss Tuesday''s game with the Dodgers. Once again he'll be replaced in the cleanup spot and as the DH by J.D. Martinez.
The Tigers are unsure Martinez will even see the field this week, putting his ability to play in a fifth career All-Star Game in jeopardy. Manager Brad Ausmus is obviously more concerned about keeping his slugging DH healthy for the second half than his appearing in the All-Star Game, and has made the organization's feelings clear to Martinez.
"In terms of playing the game, Victor understands it’s more important to play the season than to play the All-Star Game. The honor is being selected and he’s more than deserving to be on the All-Star team," Ausmus said. "If he’s not healthy to play or for some reason he plays in the Kansas City series or Dodgers series or both, it might be a situation where we still might be cautious during the All-Star Game because we don’t want something happening there. But we’ll just have to see how he feels."
If Martinez is unable to take part, Ausmus still expects his DH will be in attendance next Tuesday in Minnesota
The side injury originally flared up after the Astros series, forcing Martinez to miss all three games with the Athletics. Feeling well enough to take part in the first two games of the Rays series, Martinez was fine at the plate -- 3-for-6 with three RBI. But the injury flared up again, forcing the 35-year-old to sit out the two weekend games against the Rays, both Tigers losses.
The Tigers have managed to go 3-2 in the five games Martinez has missed, but they badly need to keep his powerful bat in the lineup. As well as J.D. Martinez has played, he can only do so much. It's an impossible task to ask him (or anyone not named Miguel Cabrera) to replicate his teammate's production.
Martinez is having one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .328/.391/.599, a .991 OPS with 21 home runs and 55 RBI. His .991 OPS is third best in all of baseball, while the .328 batting average is third in the AL, and the 21 homers fourth overall.