Martinez said following a 6-4 win over Baltimore on Thursday that he's experiencing some soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee. The team announced he was scratched due to rain in the forecast, per MLive.com. He remains in Detroit's tentative lineup for Saturday's home game against the Cardinals.
Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters earlier in the day that he noticed a "hitch" in Martinez's step recently since he made his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday. Martinez was noticeably limping after beating out a single in the second inning, and remained in the game. His first home run of the spring came in the eighth inning.
"Thinking back, he sort of ran that way last year," Ausmus said. "He's always had, I don't want to call in a gimp, but he always had a little hitch in his step when he ran. Even a year ago. That may be a result of the first knee surgery."
Martinez told Ausmus he feels fine, and Ausmus said he'll trust his designated hitter moving forward.
"(Martinez) says he feels good. I talked to him (Wednesday)," Ausmus said. "At least he says he feels good. So I'm gonna trust him on that."
"I was looking at his grades the other day when he came out as a free agent. He's running like that again, he's throwing. He's an above-average thrower.
"Delmon is an option for us in the outfield. He's not a pure DH and that was one of the reasons why we wanted to bring him back. He's a little better out there than people think he is. It may not always look aesthetically pleasing, but tell me one time last year where you went, 'Wow, that really hurt.' He takes a lot of pride in it."
Napoli had been sidelined since March 18, while Ortiz last appeared in a spring game March 16.
Manager Paul Molitor recognizes the power that Vargas has at the plate, but wants him to work on his swing-path.
"We all know he can hit them extremely far," Molitor said, "but that's part of the swing-path things we're working on with him so he doesn't come around the ball too much. He didn't keep it fair that much, but he did."
Although Vargas is currently the team's designated hitter, Molitor wants to be sure he is ready to play first base behind Joe Mauer.
"I don't want him to get comfortable with that idea," Molitor said. "We all know that's probably a role that he would most likely fill than any other. We're trying to be creative with ways to keep him sharp defensively. I've been putting him out there as much as I can."
Molitor also recognizes that Vargas is improving as a fielder.
"He's obviously better," he said. "I've seen Kennys for a lot of years over on the other side. He's put the time in, but he's not overly mobile and he needs to build his stamina where he can play defense for 150-200 pitches a game."
"We start out a certain way, and then if things transpire, we change our minds," Melvin said. "But we're all about trying to get the best lineup out there on a particular day."
Davis took 92 percent of his at-bats against right-handed pitching last season.
"It is what it is -- just have to play the game when they tell you to play the game," Davis said of the planned platoon. "I had some success platooning last year, so I hope to build on it and continue getting better.''
Davis is in the midst of a fine spring, going 11 for 22 and drawing three walks.
“Everything just tied up on me and I started feeling sore. I couldn’t run,” he told WEEI.com. “I’ve had it before. The minute I started feeling that way I went to the doctor and they already knew.
“I don’t know why people would criticize. Dehydrating is part of being human. You know how hot it’s been down here? I dehydrate and then I caught a bad cold. So all these symptoms get all your joints tied up, which normally happens. I started feeling soreness, so they shut me down. Now I’m starting to regroup and feel better. I have this thing I’ve got to manage the right way.”
Ortiz is scheduled to make his return to the lineup Thursday against the Twins. He has totaled just 19 plate appearances, but he is not worried about being ready for the start of the season.
“I’ve got to be smart about it. I’m not 20 anymore, and this ball club needs me for the season,” he said. “I see people getting worried about me in spring training and I’m like, ‘What’s going on? I thought the season was more important than spring training.’ But I understand. I get the memo. I know when people don’t see you playing out there, which is something everybody normally does, they start worrying. But everything is going to be fine for the season."
Now that he is in his first year with Oakland, Butler is looking to restore his power swing and help the A's chase a World Series title.
"I was brought in to be a middle-of-the-order bat and to be a force in the lineup -- to drive in a lot of runs," Butler said, per MLB.com. "Extra-base hits are big for guys in the lineup. [While I'm not aiming for] any certain numbers ... run production is a big part [of] me contributing to this team.
"I'm out to prove that I'm a valuable piece [of] a championship team. I'm a little sour the Giants beat me in the World Series. It's the Bay Area, [so I want to] go get the [Bay Bridge Series] when we play them this year. So I'm excited for that."
Martinez, who is making his way back from knee surgery, made his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday. He has been held without a hit in three at-bats this spring.