Despite tearing his ACL in the off-season, Victor Martinez and his doctors are optimistic that he will be able to play sometime this season.
Once he comes back, though, the Tigers are going to have to do some serious thinking about his future with the organization.
Martinez has pretty much lost all hope of playing anything other than designated hitter; that is, however, as long as he plays for the Tigers.
Prince Fielder played every single game at first base last year for the Brewers, and we can expect him to do the same for the Tigers. Martinez is also a catcher, but the Tigers are all set with catchers with Alex Avila and Gerald Laird.
There’s no doubt that Martinez would make the Tiger lineup even more loaded.
The thing is, though, it would only be more loaded in American League games. As we all know, there is no DH in the National League. When the Tigers go on the road to play a National League team, they’re going to have no choice but to sit Martinez and use him as a pinch-hitter.
Now granted, interleague games are only one month out of the season, and by the time Martinez gets back, interleague regular season games will be a thing in the past.
But the Tigers have very high expectations this season for themselves and from many baseball fans. Some have said that not winning the World Series would be a failed season. And in order to win the World Series, the Tigers would have to play a NL team on the road.
I’m sure that Martinez isn’t going to like sitting on the bench when he and everyone else knows he can be productive, and when it’s the biggest stage in baseball.
Am I saying that it’s impossible that Martinez won’t be a Tiger next season?
No, I’m not. But it seems like a very logical prediction. Following this season,
Martinez will still have two years left on his contract.
If the Tigers continue the success they’re having right now, they would see that they don’t have a need for the 33-year-old Martinez. The Tigers could and should trade Martinez in the off-season for some high-end prospects.
Would it make the Tigers a better team in the long run? It’s most definitely a possibility.