Plenty of fantasy owners are hesitant to roster players eligible only as Utility or DH options, but many will make the exception for Victor Martinez. A poor 2015 convinced many drafters that age was finally getting to him, but he bounced back with a vengeance last year while staying healthy all season. He is impossibly slow on the bases, so he does not score many runs despite reaching so much, but he still hits homers and drives in other runners. In terms of batting average, 2015 is the outlier as Martinez has otherwise been a solid source of batting average help. The only caveats with Martinez is age is working against him and that he is rarely allowed to put a glove on to play in the field at this point of his career. There is no upside here, so fantasy pickers are left with the hope he ages gracefully over the final two years of his contract.
Martinez says he is ready to go and took ground balls at first base Saturday, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. It's positive news for the Tigers after Martinez underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason. The fielding drills are a great sign, but expect the veteran slugger to be eased back into normal baseball activities this spring. Martinez crushed 27 home runs last season, evidence he has not slowed down with age.
Martinez underwent surgery in October to repair a hernia, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. The report also indicated that the injury had been taken care of this off-season, and that Martinez is considered healthy. He'll ease into things in spring, but should be fully ready for the start of the 2017 season. He slashed .289/.351/.476 in 154 games with the Tigers last season.
Martinez is out of the lineup Sunday against the Braves. The Tigers will deploy another lineup without Martinez, as they're playing in a National League stadium and are without a DH. However, the possibility exists that he could appear as a pinch-hitter, which he did in Saturday's outing.
Martinez is not in Friday's lineup against the Braves. The Tigers wrap up the regular season with a three game set in Atlanta and consequently lose the DH spot, so Martinez will likely be reduced to pinch-hitting the next three days. The 37-year-old has been successful in that capacity this year though, as he's 4-for-6 with three walks and three home runs in nine pinch-hitting opportunities on the season.
Martinez slugged a grand slam and finished 2-for-4 with four RBI and one walk in a 12-9 loss to the Royals on Sunday. VMart has woken up in the last few days -- he's 7-for-14 (.500) with three home runs, nine RBI and five walks. The home run was Martinez's 27th of the season.