DETROIT -- The Tigers announced Victor Martinez was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. His stay on it may extend into July, a source told Bless You Boys. Martinez appeared to re-aggravate his left knee Monday against the Brewers while crossing first base, the designated hitter saying after the game that he felt a "little pinch" attempting to beat out a double play.
Essentially, the player who has been batting fourth for the Detroit Tigers is not Victor Martinez. Sure, the person is there, but that's about it. Yet, the team, and Martinez, have been trying to produce a hitter that quite frankly isn't, and hasn't been present, for the 2015 season.
Martinez's knee has been through two surgeries in the last three years. After season-ending surgery in 2012, Martinez underwent a second surgery just prior to the start of spring training for 2015. While he has gained his strength and focus back from the right side, that has not been the case batting left-handed. One step forward, two steps back.
It's time for a new approach. By placing him on the disabled list six weeks into the season after little to no improvement, it's clear that the status quo isn't maintainable. It's reached a point where the Tigers need to do more than give Martinez a day -- or three -- off, for the good of the team.
Martinez's demeanor in the clubhouse after the game wasn't so much devoid of confidence, but more at a loss for what to do. And as to the continued questions about whether he should attempt to bat strictly right-handed, even against a righty, that was, and continues to be, out of the question. Martinez has never done it before, and while Ausmus was throwing to him during Monday's batting practice, that's all it was.
"I have never done it," Martinez remarked after Monday night's game. "I don't know how -- honestly I don't know how I'm going to react when the pitcher throws the ball. I might get out of the way. I've never done it before."
The numbers for Martinez batting left-handed have been anemic, at best, hitting .141/242/153 with no home runs and only one extra-base hit and 11 walks. Those splits are flipped batting right-handed against a lefty, where Martinez is hitting .462/516/654 with a home run, eight RBI, and two doubles. Overall, though, he's hitting just .224/.317/.280 with only one home run and 15 RBI this season.
Placing Martinez on the DL is the logical choice at this point. Early Tuesday morning the Tigers recalled Tyler Collins, but a corresponding move had not yet been made. Placing Martinez on the disabled list for an extended period answers this question.