After weeks of uncertainty surrounding the absence of designated hitter Victor Martinez, the Detroit Tigers provided some good news today. Martinez is expected to start a rehab assignment with the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday, provided he does not have any pain in his left knee following batting practice at Comerica Park this afternoon. Martinez will be re-evaluated after the four-game assignment, and could potentially rejoin the team late next week.
Martinez has been on the disabled list since May 19 with continued soreness and weakness in his left knee. Martinez had a meniscectomy on that knee in February after injuring himself while playing catch during the offseason. As was rumored when Martinez was placed on the DL, the rehab period has taken longer than expected. If Martinez comes off the disabled list on Thursday, he will have missed nearly a month of action.
Martinez's performance was one of the red flags that the Tigers saw when they decided to put him on the DL. He was batting just .216/.308/.270 with one home run and 15 RBI in 130 plate appearances. This included an abysmal .141 batting average and .242 on-base percentage from the left side, where Martinez never looked comfortable planting on his left leg.