KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 06: Victor Martinez #41 of the Detroit Tigers grabs his leg after being tagged out while trying to score in the eighth inning during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 6, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Martinez was out on the play and had to be helped off the field. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Tigers Injury Updates: Victor Martinez Insists He Can Catch Next Season

The Tigers' designated hitter and backup catcher sustained a sprained right knee that prevented him from squatting. Martinez didn't play at catcher since Aug. 4.

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Tigers' Victor Martinez Insists He Can Catch Next Season

With the news that Tigers catcher Alex Avila was suffering from severe tendinitis in both knees by the end of the season, getting a reserve catcher that can provide some relief seems like a priority for next year.

But one of the players on the Tigers roster who’s played most of his career at catcher insists he’ll be healthy enough to back up Avila. Victor Martinez told FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that he will “definitely” be able to catch next season.

“(Alex) is the everyday catcher,” Martinez said. “I’m going to catch whenever he needs a day off — that’s my mentality. I knew that when I decided to come here. I know he was going to be the everyday catcher. … I want to be there to help him out.”

Martinez was signed primarily to be the team’s designated hitter, but there was also the thought that he could end up playing quite a bit at catcher if Avila hadn’t developed into a full-time major league player.

Obviously, Avila showed he could handle the job, if not necessarily the workload. So Martinez wasn’t needed as much behind the plate. However, after suffering a sprained left knee in early August, he didn’t play another game at catcher for the rest of the season. Martinez said the injury prevented him from going into a crouch.

Ultimately, Martinez caught 26 games for the Tigers in 2011. (Avila caught 133.) If he can’t give the Tigers more than that — perhaps 40 or so games — the team might have to pursue another option. But would playing Martinez more at catcher affect his offensive production, which was the primary reason the Tigers signed him? That’s something the team will have to consider this offseason.


Tigers' Miguel Cabrera Suffered Shoulder Injury In ALCS

Remember when Nelson Cruz threw out Miguel Cabrera by a mile at home plate in Game 4 of the ALCS?

You could be excused if you choose not to remember it. Most Tigers fans (and everyone who watched that game, really) probably had their hands over their faces when the throw got to Mike Napoli and Cabrera was seemingly halfway up the third base line.

There was a collision at home plate, as Cabrera tried the only move he really had, which was to plow into the Rangers’ catcher in an attempt to jar the ball loose. But the play took so long to develop that Napoli had plenty of time to set himself, even making sure his feet weren’t planted to lessen the impact.

But days after the Texas Rangers won the ALCS in six games and eliminated the Tigers, it was revealed that Cabrera didn’t walk away from that collision unscathed. As FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported, Cabrera sustained a shoulder injury on the play.

The injury left Cabrera unable to throw as he normally does — although he could obviously hit. Cabrera believes the injury is muscular, not structural. But he’s going to see a doctor this week just to be sure.

As Morosi points out, the injury obviously didn’t hinder Cabrera’s hitting. He hit two home runs in Game 6. But perhaps it could’ve given him problems on defense, like if he had to turn a double play.

Cabrera insisted the injury was muscular, not structural, implying it was less serious and would heal more quickly. The Tigers’ first baseman seemed to confirm that with the news that he would play with a team of major leaguers that will tour Taiwan in early November. The all-star squad will match up against the Chinese Taipei national team in a five-game series throughout three cities.


Tigers' Brennan Boesch Begins Rehab On Injured Thumb

As much as he wanted to, Brennan Boesch would not have been able to play in the World Series had the Detroit Tigers made it there. Alas, that’s now a moot point.

After meeting with doctors at the Cleveland Clinic last week, and confirming that his season would remain over, Boesch began a rehabilitation program with Tigers trainer Kevin Rand. The program involves range-of-motion exercises initially, which is important for a player who hasn’t swung a bat since the thumb surgery was performed on Sept. 6.

Getting back in the lineup during the World Series was a personal goal for Boesch, who’s recovering from surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb. But doctors told him that rushing back could tear the repaired ligament again.

However, Boesch insists he’ll be ready to go by January, which gives him plenty of time to prepare for the beginning of spring training.

From MLive.com:

“I’ll be healthy by the then,” said Boesch, who confirmed he will not play winter ball this offseason. “It’s just time that needs to take place. It’s no set thing that you do to recover from this injury other than just motion exercises.”

Surely, the Tigers would’ve preferred Boesch play some winter ball to get in playing shape and regain his timing at the plate. But he’s not rehabbing away from the team while he rehabs, so baseball activities will likely be incorporated into his program once he’s able to swing a bat.

Barring any setbacks, that should allow everyone involved to set up a timetable to prepare Boesch for the spring. From there, Grapefruit League play should get him ready for the regular season.

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