J.D. Martinez Injury: Updates on Tigers Star's Elbow and Return

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2016

Detroit Tigers' J.D. Martinez, left, rounds third base after hitting a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates closer  Mark Melancon during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh Monday, April 13, 2015. The Pirates won 5-4. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Detroit Tigers star J.D. Martinez suffered a right elbow injury that forced the power-hitting outfielder to leave Thursday's game against the Kansas City Royals in the second inning. X-rays revealed a fracture, and the team placed him on the disabled list. It is uncertain when he'll return to the field.

Continue for updates.

Martinez's Timetable for Return, X-Ray Details Announced 

Thursday, June 16

Martinez is going to miss four to six weeks, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.

X-rays showed Martinez suffered a "non-displaced fracture on the radial neck at the right elbow," according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, who added a CT scan will be conducted Friday.

Outfielder Steven Moya will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding roster move on Friday, per Aaron McMann of MLive.com.

Martinez an Essential Piece of Tigers Lineup 

Martinez, who was let go by the Houston Astros ahead of the 2014 season, has since developed into one of the league's most dangerous hitters. He illustrated that by smashing 38 home runs last year, proving himself as a key cog in the Detroit lineup.

In turn, any type of injury issue causes immediate concern for the Tigers. Even though they do feature some offensive depth, losing a player of his caliber for any type of extended stretch would obviously be a serious setback. He played in 158 of the team's 161 games last season.

With the 28-year-old outfielder set to miss time, Detroit will probably use a committee of players to fill the massive void. Anthony Gose and Mike Aviles should both see an uptick in action. They may play left field with Justin Upton shifting to right field for the time being.

It's hard to imagine the offense producing at the same level regardless of how manager Brad Ausmus tries to replace Martinez, though. He's a vital piece when locked in at the plate.