The Indians have named Martin their starting center fielder, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports. After reporting to camp healthy following his recovery from a serious bacterial infection that sidelined him late last season, Martin always looked to have the inside track on the everyday center-field role. The Indians' lack of meaningful additions to the outfield aided Martin's claim to the starting gig more so than anything else, but the 31-year-old has made the decision easy for the Tribe by going 10-for-31 at the dish with two home runs in Cactus League play. Martin has often been deployed as the Indians' leadoff man this spring and could slot in atop the order on Opening Day if Francisco Lindor (calf) is forced to open the campaign on the injured list.
Martin has gone 8-for-16 with a pair of home runs and three RBI through his first six Cactus League games. Back to full health after dealing with a life-threatening bacterial infection last August that resulted in an extended hospital stay, Martin looks well on his way to sewing up an everyday role this spring, barring any late additions to the Cleveland outfield. Martin served as the Tribe's leadoff man in his most recent start Tuesday against the White Sox and could find himself atop the order early during the regular season if Francisco Lindor (calf) opens on the year on the injured list.
Martin said Friday that he has made a full recovery from the bacterial infection that forced his emergency hospitalization Aug. 7, Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Martin required medical attention after developing the life-threatening illness following his final plate appearance of the Indians' game against the Twins that day, noting that he "blacked out" before waking up in the hospital. The infection produced intense pain and resulted in Martin being shut down for the rest of the 2018 campaign, but after months of rest, the 30-year-old has enjoyed an otherwise normal offseason and feels ready to resume his career this spring. After re-signing with the Tribe on a one-year, $3 million deal shortly after the past season ended, Martin should get the opportunity to vie for a starting role in an unsettled Cleveland outfield.
Martin (illness) was officially cleared for regular offseason strength training and conditioning Tuesday, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports. Martin suffered a major health scare in August and spent time in the hospital while battling a life-threatening illness. Although he was shut down for the remainder of the 2018 season a few months ago, he was finally cleared to take part in normal offseason activities and will be at 100 percent for the start of spring training. Martin is in line to serve as Cleveland's starting center fielder for the 2019 campaign after inking a one-year deal at the end of October.
Martin (illness) signed a non-guaranteed one-year, $3 million contract for 2019 with Cleveland on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. This deal will avoid arbitration for Martin after the outfielder was sidelined for the last seven weeks of the season due to a serious bacterial infection that caused him to spend some time in the hospital. That ailment occurred just a week after the Indians traded for Martin from Detroit, so he only played in 84 games in 2018. He wound up slashing .255/.323/.425 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI and seven stolen bases, and will have a chance to lock down the starting spot in center field come spring training.
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