Martinez went 3-for-4 with a strikeout in Saturday's win over the White Sox. It's Martinez's first three-hit game since May 4, and prior to Saturday he had struggled with a .212/.255/.269 slash line through 52 at-bats in June. The 39-year-old's power has essentially dissipated since the start of 2017 as he has a .362 slugging percentage with only 14 home runs in over 600 at-bats.
Martinez batted fifth in all three of Detroit's games with Cleveland over the weekend after serving as the cleanup hitter for his previous 11 starts. Manager Ron Gardenhire previously indicated that he didn't have plans to move Martinez down from the cleanup spot, but the veteran simply isn't providing much pop, with just a .656 OPS and four home runs this season. Jeimer Candelario, who has an .857 OPS and 10 home runs, batted in front of Martinez in each game over the weekend. It remains to be seen if this switch is permanent, but the numbers definitely suggest a move down in the order is warranted for Martinez.
Martinez went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Saturday's win over the Indians. Martinez delivered at the plate in this one but his limitations were also on display, as the Tigers ran for the veteran in the seventh inning to get better speed on the bases. The 39-year-old is strictly a designated hitter these days, which caps his value in many fantasy formats.
Martinez is out of the lineup for Game 1 of the Tigers' doubleheader Monday with the Yankees, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Martinez will be on the bench for a second straight afternoon game after he also took a seat in Sunday's contest against the Blue Jays. The veteran's absence from the lineup is mostly a result of the Tigers exercising caution with Miguel Cabrera, who will act as the team's designated hitter in Game 1 after returning from a hamstring injury a few days earlier. If Cabrera sits out Game 2 or returns to his normal spot at first base, expect Martinez to reenter the lineup as the DH in the nightcap.
The Tigers have no plans of removing Martinez -- who is slashing just .251/.314/.363 -- from the cleanup spot, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. Martinez's numbers are down across the board from last season, and previous Tigers manager Brad Ausmus did end up sliding the veteran down in the order in 2017. However, new manager Ron Gardenhire said he doesn't plan on following suit. "You don't screw around with veterans," he said. "You don't bounce them all over the place." Martinez hasn't been much of a fantasy factor this season, but at least he should continue to receive at-bats in the middle of the order, which could boost his counting stats somewhat.