by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (6/17/2013) With the Tigers sending Alex Avila to the DL on Monday, it might seem like a situation where Victor Martinez could see some work behind the plate. And while that line of thinking could be applauded -- especially for a Fantasy owner looking to trade for Martinez with hopes of catcher eligibility looming -- it might be jumping the gun.
Jim Leyland told reporters that he had narrowed his options down to Brayan Pena and Bryan Holaday. Martinez, meanwhile, has only made three appearances outside of his DH duties -- all at first base. With three home runs in 14 June games, Martinez is showing signs of shaking off rust, and asking him to catch may take his attention away from his batting focus.
It's not wholly out of the question to see Martinez make an appearance or two at catcher, but it's unlikely. Having him suit up five times to gain Fantasy eligibility, however, may be asking too much.
Victor Martinez heating up in June.
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (6/8/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez continues to show signs of snapping out of his season-long funk, as he homered and had multiple hits for the second straight game Friday against the Indians.
Martinez opened the game with a solo home run in the second inning and added two more hits, to finish the game 3 for 4. He scored three times and drove in one run, while hitting a double.
Martinez has raised his batting average from .226 to .241 over the last two games, and has hit three of his five homers just in the first six games of June.
Victor Martinez starting to turn a corner
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (6/6/2013) With a home run in Thursday's game against the Rays, Tigers DH Victor Martinez now has two in his last five games (and four overall on the season). His batting average is up to .231, the highest it's been all season, and Martinez has reached base safely in all five games he's played so far this month.
The 118th player taken in drafts this season, Martinez is owned in 71 percent of leagues, but starts in just 42 percent. Following knee surgery, Martinez missed all of 2012, so it was understandable when he had some rust early in 2013. Now, however, he seems to be turning a corner, with a BABIP nearing .300 in his previous 15 games.
Martinez may not be fully clear of slumps or downturns, but it stands to reason the more at-bats he sees, the closer he gets to being the player he was before the knee injury -- a .300 career hitter with five, 20-home run campaigns in the previous eight seasons. He's not a must-get in Fantasy, but he's worth an add in shallower leagues and could be considered a "buy" candidate if the asking price is egregiously low.
Victor Martinez clubs fourth home run
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (6/6/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez hit his fourth home run Thursday against the Rays.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Martinez hit a Roberto Hernandez sinker to right field for a two-run shot. He later singled for his third RBI of the game. Martinez is hitting .231.
Victor Martinez out due to NL rules in Pittsburgh
by Jack Moore | CBSSports.com (5/29/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is out of Wednesday's lineup at Pittsburgh, MLive.com reports.
Martinez's .575 OPS certainly wasn't going to displace Prince Fielder at first base for the Tigers. It appears likely he'll be on the bench for the second game Thursday as well. The Tigers return to American League rules Friday against Baltimore.
Victor Martinez drives in two runs
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/27/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez doubled and drove in two runs Monday during a win over the Pirates.
Martinez's double in the fifth inning plated Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder. He finished 2 for 5 with a run scored and is batting .230 on the year.
Martinez has hit in five straight games and eight of his last 10. He's gone 12 for 40 (.300) over that 10-game stretch with two doubles and five RBI.
Victor Martinez hits second home run
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (5/14/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez clubbed his second home run of the season Monday against the Astros.
In the bottom of the fourth, Martinez hit the first pitch he saw from Bud Norris over the right-field wall for a two-run shot. Martinez has struggled this year, hitting just .213/.273/.309 in 136 at-bats.
Victor Martinez back on familiar turf
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (5/10/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez returned to the starting lineup Friday against Cleveland after being relegated to pinch-hitting duties the past two games while Detroit played at Washington. Martinez took his usual fifth spot in the batting order as he looks to extend his four-game hitting streak while playing in American League parks.
Victor Martinez doing many things right
by Al Melchior | Data Analyst (5/7/2013) It cannot be denied: Victor Martinez has given Fantasy owners precious little production this year. Yet for someone with abysmal Fantasy stats, the Tigers' designated hitter is doing a lot of things right.
Martinez is still hitting for contact, walking at a reasonable (if not great) rate, exercising strong plate discipline and stinging the ball for frequent line drives and outfield flies. He is batting only .068 on flyballs, and it's not just because Martinez has been limited to only one home run. As shown on his spray chart on TexasLeaguers.com, plenty of Martinez's flies have traveled deep into the outfield.
Time will tell if Martinez will increase his power to the point where more balls will leave the yard. There are enough positive signs so far that owners should wait out Martinez's slump for at least a few more weeks. He is not beyond benching, but Martinez is far from droppable.
Victor Martinez out of lineup Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (5/7/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is not in the club's starting lineup Tuesday against the Nationals.
The club is playing in Washington, and will not utilize a DH. Martinez will likely be available to pinch hit. It's unclear how much he'll play when the team plays in National League parks.
No DH to limit Victor Martinez's role
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/5/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland told MLB.com that he will use Victor Martinez solely as a pinch-hitter when Detroit begins a two-game series with Washington Tuesday.
Martinez has served as DH in all but one game so far this season after missing the entire 2012 campaign because of knee surgery.
"He'll be coming off the bench to pinch-hit," Leyland said Sunday. "If you have a freak game, lopsided one way or the other, you might get Prince [Fielder] out of there after a few innings and play [Martinez] at first."
Victor Martinez hits first homer since 2011
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/4/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez had his fourth multi-hit performance in his last 11 games Saturday night against the Astros. He went 2 for 6 with a homer, four RBI and two runs scored in the 17-2 win.
The 34-year-old doubled home two in his first at-bat, then hit a two-run shot off Paul Clemens in the ninth inning. It was his first home run since 2011.
Martinez is batting .277 (13 for 47) in his previous 11 games with 10 RBI.
Victor Martinez will be allowed to be waved home
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/1/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he has no problems with third-base coach Tom Brookens' decision to wave DH Victor Martinez home on an Andy Dirks' single Tuesday against the Twins. Unfortunately, Martinez -- who missed the 2012 season because of knee surgery -- was tagged out.
"It was a no-brainer. He should have been sent home, and he was sent home," Leyland said, per MLB.com. "He was out, but he should have been sent home, without question."
Leyland did add Brookens will need to be careful about sending Martinez home when a close play might occur in order to avoid any setbacks with his surgically repaired knee.
"That's one of the arts of being a good third-base coach," Leyland said.
Officially worried about Victor Martinez
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/1/2013) Last week, Nando Di Fino was urging Fantasy owners to be patient with Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, but it might be time to hit the panic button. Martinez was a worthy flier for Fantasy owners coming off a lost season, but the early returns are abysmal.
Martinez is barely striking out this season, so that's a good sign. Unfortunately, he is doing just about nothing else right in his return from knee surgery, and there are not many indications that better days are ahead. Martinez is hitting a ton of fly balls -- career-high 48.1 percent flyball rate -- but his declining power has kept him from depositing any of them in the seats. He is not hitting a bunch of infield flyballs that indicate his bat speed is slow. He just cannot muscle up a pitch. With four extra-base hits, all doubles, in 91 at-bats it's clear that Martinez cannot drive the ball the way he used to.
I do not come to bury Martinez, but it is certainly well past time to get him out of the starting lineup. There are too many good hitters in the league to be putting Martinez out there as a starter every week. Hang on to him and hope he finds the swing that made him one of the top hitters before his injury. Just let him look for it on your bench.
Victor Martinez back at first base
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/27/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is making his first start at first base Saturday since July 31, 2011. Prince Fielder will be the DH against the Braves, MLB.com reports.
Batting .213 on the season, Martinez has picked it up lately with five hits in his last 14 at-bats, including three doubles and four RBI.
Victor Martinez taking precautions to avoid setback
"Trust me, it was a really long year for me last year, so I wouldn't do anything stupid," Martinez said to MLive.com.
Martinez put his words into practice Wednesday against the Royals when he tried to score from second base on a two-out double in the third inning. Jeff Francoeur's throw from right field beat Martinez by a wide margin, so instead of colliding with catcher Salvador Perez, Martinez conceded the out.
"I saw the catcher get the ball and I was almost halfway to the plate," he said. "There's no reason to run over the catcher. No reason to try and do anything stupid. I want to keep playing baseball."
Tigers manager Jim Leyland supported Martinez's decision.
"He did absolutely the right thing," he said. "It was one of those deals where as a third-base coach, normally, you're saying that with two outs, take a chance. If he throws it off line, Victor scores."
Victor Martinez gets his bat going
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/24/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez drove in two runs on Wednesday during a 7-5 win over the Royals.
Martinez went 2 for 5 as his double to right field in the third inning drove in Miguel Cabrera and his single to left-center in the fourth plated Torii Hunter.
V-Mart snapped a 1-for-15 slump at the plate but he's still batting just .197 with just two extra-base hits -- both doubles -- and six RBI over 71 at-bats.
Victor Martinez still shaking off rust
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/23/2013) There's no question that Victor Martinez has been bad this season -- he's batting .182 with an extra-base hit and four RBI. Yes, he has walked 10 times, but most owners drafting him had probably hoped for much bigger things out of the gate from the 34-year-old.
Although Martinez is refusing to make excuses for his poor performance, here's a thought -- before this year, Martinez hadn't played in the majors since September 2011. It's now April 2013. That's a huge gap. And Martinez really only jumped into things again this spring, when he hit .253 with a home run in 75 spring training at-bats.
We often see players struggle to shake off rust when they miss a few weeks of spring training (see Stephen Drew), but Martinez didn't just miss a year of baseball at the highest level -- he hadn't played in 18 months. Then he struggled in spring training. And now we have this slow start.
I have faith that Martinez has the skill that made him a career .301 hitter. But even with a stacked Tigers lineup taking pressure off him, Martinez may need a month or two to catch up and get his timing back. He should eventually improve his numbers, but it's best to have him on your bench until he shows some signs of life.
Victor Martinez credited with base hit
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/22/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was credited with a base hit that was originally ruled an error Monday, MLive.com reports. Martinez was credited with a fifth-inning single in a game played last Wednesday.
Seattle shortstop Brendan Ryan was originally credited with an error. Martinez is now batting .182 on the season.
Victor Martinez not making excuses for struggles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/22/2013) Since totaling a season-high three hits April 16 at Seattle, Tigers DH Victor Martinez has been mired in a 2-for-21 slump (.095), dropping his season average to .167 through 17 games. Martinez also has no home runs, one extra-base hit and four doubles.
"I have no excuses," Martinez said, per MLB.com. "I can’t really control what happens after I hit the ball. I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball good."
Victor Martinez begins offensive turnaround
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/17/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez collected a season-high three hits Tuesday at Seattle. He also had his first double of the season.
Martinez has hit safely in four of his last five games, batting .300 (6 for 20) with one double, two RBI and three walks in that span. Martinez has begun a turnaround offensively after batting .120 (3 for 25) with two RBI and four walks in his first seven games.
Victor Martinez hitless in return
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/11/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez was hitless in his return to the lineup.
Martinez's return to the lineup was surprising considering he missed Tuesday's game after getting stiches on his thumb.
Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning, netting an RBI. The lack of hits was concerning given his recent injury. His performance is something to keep an eye on in the coming days.
Victor Martinez penciled into Wednesday's lineup
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/10/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez is "tentatively" penciled into Wednesday's starting lineup against the Blue Jays, according to MLB.com. Martinez was scratched from Tuesday's lineup after needing eight stitches to close a cut on his thumb.
Manager Jim Leyland has Martinez batting fifth against left-handed hurler Mark Buehrle.
Plan to sit Victor Martinez for now
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/9/2013) How many stitches can a thumb hold? I'm no doctor, but eight seems like a lot for a relatively small part of the body.
That's how many Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez got in his right thumb after cutting it on a bat rack Monday. The Tigers say he's day-to-day, but I have a hunch they might have to ammend that timetable. Swinging a bat with a thumb stitched to the max seems like a dangerous proposition.
Maybe I'm wrong, but considering Martinez is off to a slow start, sitting him in daily leagues seems like the most prudent course of action.
Victor Martinez needs stitches to close cut
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/9/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday vs. Toronto after sustaining a cut on his right thumb, which required eight stitches. Martinez cut his thumb on the bat rack, according to MLB.com.
Andy Dirks replaced Martinez, who is batting .143 (3 for 21) with one RBI and three walks in six games. He has no home runs.
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/3/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has gotten off to a slow start this season after two games. Martinez went 0 for 4 Wednesday in Minnesota and has yet to record a hit this year after missing all of last season.
Martinez, who is now 0 for 7 in two contests, has a walk on the year and has struck out twice. The 34-year-old hit .253 over the spring through 75 at-bats and should get on track shortly.
Victor Martinez slugging just .359 this spring
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (3/26/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez has not hit for much power this spring. Martinez went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves. He is batting .266 (17 for 64) through 22 spring games with one homer, seven RBI and a .359 slugging percentage.
The 34-year-old missed all of 2012 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee.
Victor Martinez could see time at catcher
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/21/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland indicated Thursday that designated hitter Victor Martinez could see time at catcher during interleague play this year.
"If you felt like there was some nasty, nasty left-hander and Victor was healthy enough and you felt like you weren't risking anything, you might do it," Leyland told MLB.com "And he'll want to do it, I know that."
Leyland added that Martinez has worked out behind the plate this spring, although he's yet to appear at the position in a game. Dynasty-league owners with minimal positional requirements will perk up at this news.
Victor Martinez back after lost 2012
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/14/2013)Victor Martinez missed all of 2012 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee, so there are concerns about his timing and inactivity. But he's also a pure hitter who won't be slumming it at the .191 mark in May. The issue with Martinez for Fantasy players is where to value him as a DH-only. He clogs the utility slot if you grab him early, killing flexibility, We've been down this road before with David Ortiz. Martinez should finish the season with about a .280 average and 16 home runs, and that's a little pessimistic. I won't draft him because I like the flexibility of that utility spot as bargains pop up later in drafts and auctions, but if that bit of strategy doesn't bother you, he makes for a nice ninth-round (or so) pick.
Martinez swinging from one side
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/6/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez has only been taking swings from the left side of the plate recently, due to some back soreness that is being characterized as just a minor issue. Martinez was forced to leave Wednesdays Grapefruit league game when a left-handed pitcher came out to pitch. Fortunately, it appears as if Martinezs troublesome knee is no longer an issue. And Martinez is only bothered when he swings right handed. Martinez is still trying to get into game shape, after sitting out last season. "It's a little tough when you've been out for a year and I've been out there every day swinging and swinging and swinging," Martinez told MLive.com. "It's nothing to worry about. I might need a couple more days from the right side."
Tigers giving Martinez a break
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/2/2013) After creating a slight stir by keeping designated hitter Victor Martinez out of the lineup Saturday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland insisted the veteran's absence is not injury-related. Martinez, who missed the entire 2012 season after having surgery on his right knee, has been working aggressively during the early part of spring training and recorded 18 at-bats, tied for second-most on the team. "I'm backing him off just a little bit," Leyland told MLive.com on Saturday. "He's had more at-bats than anybody. He's got a lot of at-bats. Victor is fine."
V-Mart has timing down
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/24/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez homered off Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay and went 3 for 3 during Sunday's spring game. Martinez is batting .571 (4 for 7) through his first three spring games. "This is only my third game, but I think I've been really surprised," Martinez said, per MLive.com. "The hard part is just getting in rhythm, picking up the ball from the pitcher's hand. I've been able to do that the last three days." Martinez, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, said his knee is no longer an issue. "The left side is more the test, because that's where I have 75 percent of my weight when I'm hitting," he said. "I'm not thinking about the knee any more. That's a pretty good sign."
Martinez pleased with debut
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/22/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez finished 0 for 2 and was hit by a pitch during Detroit's 2-1 victory over Atlanta in the Grapefruit League opener for both teams Friday. It was the first time Martinez played in a game since Oct. 11, 2011, as he has endured a lengthy recovery from knee surgery. "I'm going to go home really happy," he told MLive.com. "I thought I made good contact. I saw the ball good. ... It felt good. Honestly, I'm not really thinking about the knee. I come to spring training now like I used to be: just getting ready to get to the season."
No restrictions on V-Mart
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/21/2013) The Detroit Free Press reports Tigers DH Victor Martinez will take an at-bat Friday for the first time in 496 days. Martinez, who is slated to be the team's DH in its spring training opener, missed last season recovering from knee surgery. However, manager Jim Leyland said Martinez hasn't had any setbacks leading up to Friday's game. Victor just looks -- knock on wood -- 100 percent," Leyland said. "It doesnt look like there are any restrictions right now. Hes just thrilled to be back in uniform and out on the field. Hes like a kid.
V-Mart gets back into box
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (2/17/2013) Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez stepped back into the batters box for the first time since 2011 on Saturday, reports MLive.com. "Man, that felt good," he said. "I've been waiting a long time to do that." The switch-hitting V-Mart batted balls from both sides of the plate and looked good doing so. "It was a little faster than I remembered," Martinez said. "But that was something I expected." Martinez was a little off on his timing and in other areas but recognizes he'll improve. "There's still a lot of work to do, but I have plenty of time," he said.
V-Mart open to catching
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (2/13/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez, who missed the 2012 season recovering from knee surgery, said he will be prepared to catch if needed in interleague games. "I'm still catching," Martinez said. "I don't see the reason why not. I always work hard to play. I always work hard to catch. I've always been in the shape that I am right now. I don't see any reason. But we'll take it slow. It's the first day." Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't close the door on Martinez catching. "You know when interleague play comes up that Victor Martinez has something in the back of his mind," Leyland said. "I'll leave it at that."
Martinez: 'I'm ready to go'
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (2/7/2013) Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez, who missed all of 2012 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee in the offseason, declared himself "ready to go" to the Detroit News on Thursday. "I can't explain how happy I am," Martinez said, "and the freedom I feel to be 100 percent." Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon said that Martinez looked "unbelievable" and was, "really, really impressed," with a hitting session in Florida. "His hands are active, his legs are active, he's driving through the ball," McClendon added. "He hit all kinds of pitches up, in, out, down which really impressed me." Martinez also did several running drills and had no complications.
V-Mart won't do any catching
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (1/16/2013) Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB Network Radio Wednesday that Victor Martinez, who missed all of last season because of microfracture surgery on his left knee, will not catch at all in 2013. FOX Sports Detroit reported Tuesday that Martinez still isn't running in full speed, but he's expected to be ready to DH by the April 1 season opener at Minnesota.
V-Mart on track for opener
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (1/15/2013) FOX Sports Detroit reports Tigers DH Victor Martinez, who missed all of the 2012 season recovering from knee surgery, has increased his running regimen. Victor is not running at full speed, but he is running very well, Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. We are doing low-volume (work) right now with a warm-up, turns at the bases, simulated running out of the batters box and going from first to third. We will progress to medium-volume and high-volume workouts by going at higher speeds and giving him more reps. Rand said Martinez won't be pushed in spring training games, but he is expected to serve as the full-time DH by the April 1 season opener at Minnesota. Victor is in great spirits, Rand said. Hes excited. He looks and feels great, and cant wait for spring training.
Martinez now running bases
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (1/11/2013) Tigers DH Victor Martinez, who missed all of 2012 after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee, started running the bases in front of Detroit's staff of coaches and trainers on Thursday. Kevin Rand, the team's head athletic trainer, told The Detroit News that Martinez has been hitting for over a month, doing everything from soft-toss to regular swings. "He's doing real, real well," Rand added.