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Brad Ausmus wants Victor Martinez catching again

Feb 14, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez AP

Victor Martinez missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury and caught only three times all of last season, but two years after his last regular game action behind the plate he’s putting on the gear again this spring.

Tom Gage of the Detroit News writes that new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus called Martinez during the offseason to tell him to be ready for some catching duties and according to Ausmus “he was thrilled with it.”

Alex Avila remains the Tigers’ starting catcher and the vast majority of Martinez’s action will no doubt still come as a designated hitter, but Ausmus specifically cited interleague games in NL parks as a reason for Martinez to get back behind the plate at age 35.

  1. dan1111 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Using Martinez as a backup catcher and in some interleague games, and letting him DH the rest of the time, seems like a smart move.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Mad respect for what Avila did in the ALCS but yah, they may need an extra option or two behind the plate.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Hopefully, it will be less of a problem since opposing players can’t take our catcher out with a home plate collision anymore.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Amen to that for Ross and Avila.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:07 PM


      • alkaline19 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        Yes, Amen to no more collisions. Also read out of spring training that Avila has switched to some new catching gear that will help protect him better. He sure got banged up last year.

      • jcmeyer10 - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

        Yes’m both our boys got beat up from collisions at the plate. I went as far as to feel bad for the chap as Avila was putting his body on the line for a team that wanted to lose.

  3. historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Well, having lost Pena ( 😦 ), we need more help. Holaday isn’t that great, so we could use a little boost. Also, this is definitely the thing to do with interleague & playoff games.

  4. chacochicken - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    I just stole 2nd and 3rd without a throw.

    • alkaline19 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      That’s my concern too. It’s not just Martinez. Tigers were one of the worst teams at throwing out runners in 2013. The only hope is that Ausmus can offer some words of wisdom to Avila, Holloday and now Martinez.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Don’t come home, chicken. >:/

      • chacochicken - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Will you choke me when I get there?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        I’m thinking about taking up golf clubs.

      • chacochicken - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        The safe word is “Fister”

      • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        I’m going to enjoy my work today, chicken.

        /assembles gloves, olive oil, and twine

      • chacochicken - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Sounds like I am too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

      • historiophiliac - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:43 PM

        Did I tell you to speak? Bad bird.

  5. wheels579 - Feb 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    This is not a wise move. Detroit has more than enough offense without creating another defensive liability. Better off moving Cabrera back to 3b for a couple of inter league games to get Martinez in the lineup at 1b. Or just rest either Vic or Miguel if Castellanos is on fire at the time?

    • sergioxjacques - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      It’s a tough move, Victor was actually pretty good at 1st last season. However, it’s definitely the safest place for Miggy too. I’m one of the few that knows that Miggy isn’t as bad at 3rd as everyone makes him out to be, but our goal needs to be keeping Miggy healthy through the whole season. I think Ausmus being a former catcher may help some of our guys with some of the issues we had last year. Avila is usually a good defensive catcher. I think the thing to remember is that Vmart will be used sparingly even if he does catch. It could be one of those things that wins us a game or two. I think Victor is set up for an absolute monster season.

      • chunkala - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        miggy is a great 3B as long as he hits .350-40-120. seriously, if the ball is hit right at him, he’ll scoop it up, he’s not a little leaguer, but to think he’s a major league 3B is ridiculous.

  6. Detroit Michael - Feb 14, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    It makes plenty of sense for Martinez to practice catching some this spring. He might play there just 10 games a year when Avila is injured or during interleague games and only against teams that don’t run like crazy, but why lose that defensive flexibility?

  7. displacedtigersfan - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Reblogged this on Musings of a Displaced Tigers Fan and commented:
    Certainly good news when the Tigers play in National League parks. I’m loving how much we’re hearing about players being willing to do whatever is asked of them for the good of the team. Eyes on the prize, boys.

  8. yordo - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    He’s in the last year of his deal and they want to get their money’s worth after he missed a year. They don’t care if he breaks down and has to retire after.

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