As spring training was coming to a close, eager anticipation for the season to begin was building fast. The roster was being finalized, the team solidifying, and it looked like the Tigers had escaped February and March unscathed by the injury bug. Then, the (almost) unimaginable happened. While in pursuit of a particularly shallow fly, J.D. Martinez took a wrong step, resulting in a lisfranc sprain. After seeing Dr. Robert Anderson — the nation’s top foot surgeon — it was determined Martinez would miss 3 to 4 weeks.
After having his cast removed on Monday, Martinez saw a doctor in Lakeland, FL on Thursday. Thankfully, the results were positive. He was officially cleared to continue undergoing physical therapy, and according to Ausmus, “there are no negatives on JD.”
The sprain, while definitely a buzzkill, offered a bit of a silver lining. It allowed the Tigers to do some experimentation in the outfield, taking a bit of the guesswork out of how to align the the roster once Martinez gets back. With Collins and Mahtook platooning in right, the young and unproven JaCoby Jones has been granted a golden opportunity to demonstrate that he has gotten his strikeouts under control and can be a positive contribution to the team.
If Tuesday’s game was any indication, the test is working out well so far.
The Tigers are eagerly awaiting the return of a fully recovered Martinez back in the heart of the lineup. If things continue on such a positive trajectory that will hopefully be a reality soon enough. Until then, let’s hope Jones and Collins can continue their excellent offensive performances.