When J.D. Martinez was sent to see Dr. Robert Anderson for a second opinion on a right foot sprain he suffered during spring training action last weekend, the Detroit Tigers’ fanbase held its collective breath. Turns out, it was for good reason. Martinez will miss three to four weeks with a sprain in the Lisfranc ligament of his right foot, the team announced on Friday. The injury will likely result in Martinez opening the season on the 10-day disabled list.
Martinez initially injured his foot while making a running catch in right field against the Miami Marlins last Saturday. He left the game soon after making the play, and was taken to the clubhouse for further evaluation. While x-rays were negative, the Tigers were a bit more cautious about determining a diagnosis following Martinez’s MRI results. He traveled to Charlotte, N.C. to see Dr. Anderson, who confirmed the Lisfranc sprain.
Martinez’s injury will set him back for at least three to four weeks. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Martinez is that far away from baseball activity, let alone playing in a major league game. As such, Martinez will almost certainly open the season on the disabled list. The new MLB collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has shortened the minimum time on the disabled list from 15 to 10 days.
For those curious, the Lisfranc ligament is located in the middle of the foot. Often, a Lisfranc injury will occur between the first and second digit (toe), resulting in pain with walking and other weightbearing activities. Damage to the ligament results in increased stress being placed on other structures within the middle of the foot, causing pain. Unfortunately, ligamentous injuries can take longer to heal than others, especially in the foot.
The injury is a serious blow to the Tigers, who had otherwise escaped spring training from any serious ailments. Miguel Cabrera is currently dealing with some tightness in his lower back, but does not appear to be in jeopardy of missing any playing time during the regular season.
The Tigers have a host of outfielders capable of filling in at Martinez’s spot in right field. According to reporters, nearly every outfielder in camp is being considered for the temporary opening in right field, save for center field prospect JaCoby Jones. Considering Jones’ athleticism, defensive potential, and strong spring performance thus far, Martinez’s injury likely cements Jones’ status on the Opening Day roster. As for right field, Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and Steven Moya will battle for playing time. Collins and Moya are out of minor league options, and may both head north with the team to give the Tigers more time to consider their futures with the organization.