BREAKING: Victor Martinez to undergo heart surgery

It’s been a very difficult season from both a production and health standpoint for Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. The veteran was recently placed on the DL for the second time this season with an irregular heartbeat and the first time since it first happened back in May.

It’s created a quite a predicament for the 38-year-old who has a family history of heart problems. On Saturday, it was announced that Martinez will go under the knife and his 2017 season is done.

It’s been a very trying year for Martinez at the dish. He’s hitting just .255 with a .697 OPS. It’s the second time in three seasons that the career .826 OPS hitter has seen his OPS finish south of .700.

Despite the gradual aging and wear and tear, Martinez remains hopeful to continue playing come spring of 2018. Contractually, he is signed through next season.

With the news of the impending surgery, Martinez will be placed on the 60-day disabled list and that means another player will be called up from the minors. The beneficiary, albeit under strenuous circumstances, is pitcher Artie Lewicki.

Lewicki, 25, has made 25 starts this season between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo, the last five of which coming with the Mud Hens. The former eighth-round pick from 2015 out of the University of Virginia posted a very solid 2.03 ERA in those five most recent starts at Triple-A.

The Tigers have really had to revamp their starting rotation for the remainder of the season lately, due to the trade of Justin Verlander to the Astros and news of Michael Fulmer being shut down for potentially the remainder of the season. They also have both Anibal Sanchez and Daniel Norris returning from the DL, though it appears only the former will pitch in the rotation; the latter will pitch out of the bullpen down the stretch.

With all of that said, here is a look at the Tigers rotation moving forward.

Jordan Zimmermann is pitching Saturday night against the Indians. Chad Bell will toe the slab and make his first start for Detroit on Sunday after strictly pitching out of the bullpen with the Tigers in 2017.

After Lewicki makes his major league debut on Monday, it would presumably be Sanchez on Tuesday, followed by Matt Boyd and Buck Farmer, both of whom pitched in the doubleheader on Friday.

Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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