As we all know, Victor Martinez is coming off medial menisectomy surgery to his left knee on February 1oth. After the surgery Dr. Andrews gave Martinez a four to six week window of when he would return to the line up. Martinez returned around week five giving him more time to get ready for the regular season, but he was no where near 100% healthy. Through May 3rd, Martinez has struggled mightily with a .213 average, 0 home runs, 9 RBI and a .227 slugging percentage. It is clear that Martinez is dedicated to the team and giving it his all, but with a long season still ahead of the Tigers should they shut Martinez down for a couple weeks?
Last season Martinez put up career numbers and was vital in keeping the line up productive while Miguel Cabrera fought though injuries. More importantly his career year took pressure off J.D. Martinez and forced pitchers to throw him more strikes also allowing him to also have a career year. Flash forward to this season with V-Mart struggling, J.D.’s numbers are back down to his pre Detroit days. It is clear that the Tigers most crucial hitter is V-Mart and as he goes, so does the line up. Since the Tigers hot 11-2 start, they have gone 6-7 with V-Mart’s average dropping by the day. His one double, zero home runs, and overall lack of power is evidence that his knee is not 100%. Over his past 7 games V-Mart is hitting .154 with 0 RBI and the Tigers have scored 2 or less runs in 4 of those 7 games.
With V-Mart’s struggles, especially late, it may be time to sit him down for a couple of weeks. The Tigers will miss him in the line up, but they will be fine. With 134 games left in the season losing V-Mart for 14 of them is well worth it if it means he gets back to 100%. The Tigers need to realize how important his healthy bat is to the lineup, and not have someone playing on one leg, because it is simple, we need V-Mart to make a possible deep post season run. His offensive presence takes the pressure off all the young guys and makes the Tigers offense the most dangerous lineup in baseball.