Following Tuesday’s win over the Texas Rangers, the Detroit Tigers announced that they had placed center fielder Leonys Martin on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. The Tigers recalled outfielder Mikie Mahtook from Triple-A Toledo to take Martin’s place on the 25-man roster.
This is a big blow for Martin, who has been enjoying arguably the best season of his career in 2018. He is hitting .294/.355/.508 with five home runs and 23 runs scored in 32 games. His 133 wRC+ would be the best mark of his career by far, but he is only 138 plate appearances into the season. He has also played plus defense in center field thus far, and is neck-and-neck with third baseman Jeimer Candelario atop the team WAR leaderboards — Martin currently sits at 1.2 fWAR on the year.
Martin has been battling a hamstring issue for the past couple weeks. He was out of the lineup for a pair of games at the end of April for the same issue, though he appeared as a late-inning defensive sub in both games. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Tigers noticed that Martin “lacked his usual aggressiveness” on Monday. He had an MRI of his left knee on Tuesday, which showed the strain.
Mahtook got off to a slow start in 2018, hitting .129/.200/.161 in nine games before getting demoted to the minors. He struggled for a bit after arriving at Triple-A Toledo, but has gotten back into form recently. Over his past 12 games with the Mud Hens, Mahtook is hitting .292/.393/.583 with three home runs and 11 runs scored. Mahtook’s early season swoon was a surprise after he enjoyed some success with the Tigers last year, including a .787 OPS in 109 games.
Alex Wilson’s foot: not great, Bob
The Tigers put reliever Alex Wilson on the disabled list on Monday evening, but we learned more about the extent of his injury on Tuesday. Wilson’s left plantar fascia is 95 percent torn, according to reports. Surprisingly, he’s okay with the news.
“Honestly, if it had ripped completely, it’s the best-case [scenario], because I won’t have to have it fixed,” Wilson said earlier Tuesday. “Basically I’ll lose the arch in my foot, but I’ll never have any more problems with plantar fasciitis. If that’s the case, I was told it could be three days, it could be two weeks, it could be a month. It just depends on how my body handles it.”
Wilson will be in a walking boot for the next 5-7 days, he said, but the timetable for his return depends on his pain tolerance.
This might not serve him so well later in life — the plantar fascia is a sort of support structure in the foot that helps take stress off of other important parts, like small bones and ligaments — but with the fascia so significantly torn, there isn’t much more structural damage he could do by pitching this season.