The Detroit Tigers were dealt a blow when J.D. Martinez injured his foot during a spring training recently. Martinez is in a cast and is reportedly going to miss approximately the first month of the season. It’s also been announced that the team officially placed him on the disabled list. DSN editor A.J. Reilly pointed out that Detroit fans need to exercise patience with Martinez and his injury.
In the meantime, let’s a take a look at three players who could benefit from the unfortunate injury to Martinez.
1. JaCOBY JONES
JaCoby Jones' walk-off single in the 10th vs. the Braves backs Matthew Boyd's efficient outing.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) March 24, 2017
If it were up to the Tigers staff at DSN, JaCoby Jones would already be named the starter in center field for Detroit. With Martinez out of action for at least the near future, that thins the talent pool for center field.
With Anthony Gose reportedly making a conversion to pitcher, this helps Jones immensely with his standing among the outfielders in the organization.
Jones is a young player with a bright future. He’s been playing well this Spring and with Martinez out it puts him in the driver’s seat for center field.
2. MIKIE MAHTOOK
— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 28, 2017
There is no question that Detroit loses a big bat with Martinez out. Mikie Mahtook is probably not going to replace that offensive production.
Truth be told, any team would be hard pressed to replace a hitter like J.D. Martinez. Mahtook has not bounced back as expected from an injury-plagued 2016 campaign. But nonetheless, he’s going to be on the Opening Day roster as part of a platoon role in right field for the injured Martinez.
The right-handed hitting Mahtook will be sharing the right field duties with the left-handed hitting Tyler Collins. This tandem, Ausmus said, was shifted over from center field to right due to the Martinez injury.
The LSU Tiger turned Detroit Tiger had a rough start to spring training but is starting to come around.
3. ANDREW ROMINE
— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) March 28, 2017
Every team can use a player like Andrew Romine. The “Swiss Army Knife” of the Tigers has proven himself valuable time after time with his ability to play virtually any position on the field.
With Martinez out, Romine will almost certainly see extended time in the outfield. Brad Ausmus has announced that, piggybacking the news of JaCoby Jones making the club and playing in center field, Romine will platoon with him there.
Romine, now entering his seventh big league season, should see the bulk of the reps as the starting center fielder, and be the left-handed hitting complement to the righty Jones. Seven seasons is not a substantial amount, but it’s more than enough for a Tigers outfield that needs some experience and veteran presence to aid the likes of Jones, Mahtook and Collins.