An irregular heartbeat forced Victor Martinez to the DL on a couple occasions in 2017 and ultimately forced him under the knife for heart ablation surgery in September. When on the field, Martinez was able to hold steady with his strikeout and walk rates, but his power numbers took a big hit as he couldn't get as much lift on the ball while seeing a heavier dose of breaking pitches. The hard-hit numbers look good, but there is a lot of skepticism regarding the hard-hit data coming out of Comerica Park in 2017 as there is evidence to suggest the tech was "hot" and not calibrated correctly. Take this for instance: Martinez had the second-best hard-hit rate at home (min. 200 PA), but he ranked 162nd out of 222 in hard-hit rate on the road. Further, five of the top nine players in home hard-hit rate in 2017 were Tigers. Simply put, it's tough to get excited about a UTIL-only player seeing skills erosion, with a depleted lineup around him and coming off the serious health scare.
Martinez went 1-for-3 with a solo home run, his fourth of the spring, in Sunday's Grapefruit League win over the Braves. It's been feast or famine for the veteran, as Martinez is batting just .241 with a .290 on-base percentage this spring, though the power has been nice. Martinez hit just 10 home runs in 2017, his fewest since hitting two in an injury-shortened 2008 season, but he hit 27 in a season as recently as 2016, so perhaps a bit of a rebound is in store this year.
Martinez has three home runs and five RBI in 24 at-bats so far during spring training. Martinez hit just 10 home runs in 2017, his fewest since hitting two in an injury-shortened 2008 season. Now 39 years old, Martinez's best years are behind him, but this early power display could be a sign that a rebound is in store. The veteran underwent surgery in September to correct an irregular heartbeat and said he feels healthy, so perhaps he could get closer to his 2016 output, when he had 27 home runs and 86 RBI.
Martinez (heart) has a clean bill of health and has been cleared for full baseball activity, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. He underwent a heart ablation procedure in October, which apparently went well, as Martinez has been training and rehabbing since early November. There have been talks about the Tigers trying to reach a buyout with Martinez, who is due $18 million in the final year of his contract. However, that is spent money, so the Tigers will see what he has left in the tank this spring. He hit .255/.324/.372 with 10 home runs in 107 games last year -- a far cry from the .289/.351/.476 line he put up in 2016. If he can have a productive first half, the Tigers would look to deal him to another American League club and see if they can get a lower-level prospect in exchange for covering the rest of his contract. Of course, if he is struggling, there is no reason to play him over the younger players on the roster, so at that point they may negotiate a buyout. This is likely to be the final year of his career.
Martinez (chest) was reinstated from the 60-day DL on Friday. Martinez underwent surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat in mid-September, and will continue recovering over the next couple of months. It's expected that he will be ready for the 2018 season, and should be fully healed by spring training.
The Tigers transferred Martinez (chest) to the 60-day disabled list Sunday. It had been revealed a day earlier that Martinez would be shut down for the season as he prepares to undergo a heart ablation procedure, so his shifting to the 60-day DL is merely a paper move. The transaction will open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Triple-A Toledo pitcher Artie Lewicki, who is scheduled to start Monday's series opener against the Royals.
|vs NOVA (CAREER)||1/9||.111||0||0||0||3||2|