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Tigers not expecting Victor Martinez to play this season

Aug 1, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez AP

At one point the Tigers were hopeful that Victor Martinez could return from knee surgery to play this season, but yesterday general manager Dave Dombrowski admitted: “We’re not counting on it.”

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Martinez hasn’t suffered a specific setback in his recovery, but the process is simply taking longer than initially hoped and now “the best-case scenario is a mid-September return.”

Or as Dombrowski put it: “Is there a chance? I guess there’s a chance, but we’re not counting on it. He’s just not quite ready yet. He still needs some strengthening of his leg, and we’re not going to be in a position where we take any chances with him.”

In his absence Detroit designated hitters–mostly Delmon Young–rank 13th in the 14-team league with a .641 OPS, batting just .246 with eight homers in 95 games. Martinez hit .330 with an .850 OPS last season and has posted an OPS below .840 just once in eight full seasons as a big leaguer. He’s being paid $13 million this season and is owed another $25 million for the next two years.

  1. ken49ers - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    How is it possible that a team made up of all first basemen and DHs can be 13th in the AL at the DH position??

    • rooney24 - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Because they insist on playing their 1B/DH guys in the field, rather than playing a good defensive player there. I thought it would have made sense for them to go after Soriano, although only if the Cubs would have paid the vast majority of his salary this year and next (maybe 75%). He would have been an upgrade at DH for the rest of this year, and if the Cubs paid enough of his salary, you could then afford to either dump him or keep him on the relatively cheap and dump Martinez next year.

      • caseyo4 - Aug 3, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Cabrera is playing more than respectable defense at 3rd base. I don’t buy into this 1B/DH guys. We need to upgrade at SS to help the range on that side some, but I’d be more than comfortable leaving Cabrera at 3rd. Fielder is not as good at first defensively as Cabrera was, and probably will be a full-time DH within 4-5 years. Delmon – Delmon can go away anytime now…

  2. papacrick - Aug 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    They will still get Soriano off waivers in the next couple weeks

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