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Dave Dombrowski expects Martinez to return from his knee injury in time for spring training.
The Detroit Tigers have officially snuffed out any hopes that catcher and designated hitter Victor Martinez will return in 2012, either for the remainder of the regular season, or if the Tigers should happen to reach the postseason.
James Schmehl of MLive.com reports that Tigers manager Jim Leyland has put the kibosh on any rumors that Martinez would be able to return in 2012.
"Don't look for Victor, we've said that 1,000 times. Victor Martinez will not play for the Tigers in 2012, I do not think."
Meanwhile, Matthew B. Mowery of the Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich. reported that Tigers trainer Kevin Rand says that Martinez "ran out of time" to be able to attempt a return in 2012 and that both Rand and Martinez are beginning to focus on getting the player ready for 2013.
There was hope that Victor Martinez might be able to return to the Detroit Tigers' lineup at some point this season, a bit of a quick timetable for his comeback after the designated hitter tore his ACL in January. As the weeks pass by, however, it seems as though a 2013 return is much more likely.
Just a couple of weeks ago the odds were thought to be about 50-50 that Martinez would return this season, but it seems as though the Tigers' trainers have now decided to focus on the remaining two years left on his contract rather than hurrying him back this season.
Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand explained the situation to MLB.com:
"We were hopeful," Rand said. "I was hopeful at the point in time at the end of July that he would test out a little bit better than what he did. Unfortunately, you just don't know in those instances."
Martinez hit .330 with 103 RBIs for Detroit in 2011. He is signed with the club through '14.
"To me, I'm looking at this from the standpoint -- we have 2013, 2014," Rand said. "I'd love to have him here. But by the same token, you can't put him at risk for those two years."
It's probably a better idea to focus on getting him healthy for the next two seasons rather than risk re-injury, but it's still tough to have one of the team's top hitters sit on the bench for an entire season.
When Detroit Tigers catcher Victor Martinez went down in January with a torn ACL, hope sprang eternal that the club might get one of its best hitters back for a postseason run. That optimism is dwindling as September nears, though, writes Chris Iott of MLive.
Manager Jim Leyland has always been bearish regarding Martinez's odds of returning this season, and now that pessimism is beginning to permeate throughout the organization. On Monday, Tigers trainer Kevin Rand told reporters, "He's basically running out of time. That's where we're at. He has not been cleared to start a running progression yet."
As Iott notes, the Tigers were initially hoping to have Martinez on a running program by early August, which would allow for a possible return in mid-to-late September. Considering that V-Mart hasn't even began such a program yet, it's becoming increasingly likely that he won't take the field again until 2013, the third year of his four-year contract with the team.
According to a report on CBS Sports, Detroit Tigers slugger Victor Martinez has experienced a setback with his rehabilitation from knee surgery and will not be returning in mid-August as was originally projected. Citing sources in the report, Martinez is now a "50-50 shot" to return at all this season.
Despite this, the Tigers fully expect Martinez to return next season to act as the team's designated hitter.
However, the team is now reportedly interested in trying to acquire a middle-of-the-order right-handed bat prior to the 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday.
According to CBS Sports, the search isn't going well:
The Tigers talked to the Mets at one point about Scott Hairston, but were put off by a price that included one of their top five prospects. They've considered Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs, but that seems unlikely, as well.
While he has made significant progress after tearing his left ACL in January, injured Detroit Tigers slugger Victor Martinez still has a way to go before returning to the field, making Mike Illitch's bold proclamation of an August return appear entirely too optimistic. Chris Iott of MLive.com spoke with Tigers trainer Kevin Rand on Thursday to gauge V-Mart's status:
Victor Martinez will spend July building strength in his injured leg. Will begin running progression in beginning of August. #Tigers— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) June 28, 2012
Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said best-case scenario for Victor Martinez to play for Tigers is mid-September to late September. #Tigers— Chris Iott (@Chris_Iott) June 28, 2012
The hope that Martinez would arrive in late August and provide that one big spark to somehow pull Detroit into playoff contention is nothing but a pipe dream now, which is a complete shame. But at the same time, the fact that this news comes now is especially valuable for Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski as he explores trade options, knowing full well that his .300-plus hitter might not even be back in time to play a role in the playoff race at all.
Originally, the story was that Martinez would miss the entire 2012 season, but he was able to get a more minor procedure than the regular ACL surgery, one that was going to knock his rehab down to the point where his return date was said to be as early as September.
Now, it looks like Martinez might be back on the squad by August, and the source is someone who knows quite a bit about the Tigers -- owner Mike Ilitch:
"We’re getting our players back. We got a good report on (Martinez’s knee injury). He’s coming along a little faster. Instead of September, maybe we’ll have him in August. And then we’ll have a lineup that’ll be really good."
With the Tigers struggling a bit this season despite huge expectations, getting Martinez and his great hitting back into the lineup ASAP would be a great thing.
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The Detroit Tigers will have a little extra motivation to open their three-game set with Cleveland on Tuesday night, as injured designated hitter Victor Martinez will make an appearance in the dugout as a spectator.
The 33-year-old Martinez continues his rehab process after tearing his left ACL in January, and is expected to have an MRI to assess his timetable on June 28. "It’s been going pretty good," Martinez told the Detroit Free Press. "I haven’t felt any pain, really, during my whole rehab." While the career .303 hitter appears to be feeling about as well as possible, team doctors will still ultimately have the final say after evaluating his progress.
But even though Martinez isn't even expected to have a chance to return until September at the earliest, his presence alongside teammates can only be a positive thing for Jim Leyland's sputtering ballclub. The closer a knowledgeable, veteran baseball mind like Martinez stays to Detroit's growing list of young players, the better off the Tigers will be in the long run, even after he finally returns to action.
When doctors revealed that Victor Martinez did not require full reconstructive surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament, it meant there was a possibility of him returning to the team by August or September. After all, the minor operation he had in January would only need about six months for recovery rather than a full year.
Martinez is finally off his crutches, was in the clubhouse on Monday and Tuesday, and doctors are saying that there's a "good chance" he could return to the lineup by September.
If Martinez does indeed return for the stretch run, imagine a lineup of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder (who was signed under the impression Martinez would be out for the season), and Martinez heading into the playoffs. The Tigers offense is going to start clicking without Martinez, but once he's back, look out.
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez opted for a minor healing procedure over full reconstructive surgery on his torn ACL, shortening his recovery time considerably and potentially allowing him to return this season. Via ESPN Baseball Analyst Jim Bowden:
Dave Dombrowski just told us that there is a possibility Victor Martinez could return to the Tigers in Aug/Sept based on latest medicals— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) April 20, 2012
Martinez, 33, tore the ACL in his left knee in January during an offseason conditioning workout. Last season, Martinez hit .330 with 40 doubles and 12 home runs to go with 103 RBI.
Martinez underwent microfracture surgery on the same knee in January, with doctors also repairing his medial and lateral meniscus.
As reported by MLive.com, the Tigers have announced that rather than opt for the full reconstructive surgery, the doctor on the case decided a week ago to do a more minor procedure to help with the healing of the ACL. Instead of keeping Martinez out for the entire season with a full surgery, this pushes back his recovery time to about seven months from January, meaning that Victor could potentially be back in business by August or September.
The Tigers have obviously been doing fine without him, currently standing as the only unbeaten team in the AL, but it's never a bad thing to know that your star hitter might not miss a complete season. Victor hit for a .330 average last season for the Tigers, slugging 103 RBI and 12 home runs.
Victor Martinez was a visitor in Lakeland today before the Tigers' Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves (as was his seven-year-old son Victor Jose). Martinez was on crutches, of course, as he is recovering from January microfracture surgery on his injured left knee and awaiting surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament. According to the Detroit Free Press, Martinez will have that surgery on April 4, a day before the Tigers open their hopefully-memorable 2012 season against Boston.
While Martinez is down about not being able to be with the team this season, he's looking forward to not missing a beat when he rejoins the team in 2013:
Martinez, 33, is signed with the Tigers through 2014. He said he didn’t fear that at his age he’ll lose some of his ability because he must sit out a full season.
"I would be concerned if I was a guy who never worked," Martinez said. "I know I’m going to get back in and keep rolling with the team. I’m not even one percent concerned about it. I’m a guy who always works hard. If this is going to change anything, it’s going to make me work even harder."
Any Tigers fans who were holding out hope that Victor Martinez might be able to recover from his ACL tear in time to make a late-season contribution can move on to other dreams now.
Martinez underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee last Friday, according to several reports, with doctors also repairing his medial and lateral meniscus. The procedure to reconstruct that torn ACL won’t take place for another six to eight weeks. That effectively ends any chance — which was slim to begin with — of Martinez playing for the Tigers in 2012.
Of most concern is that Martinez’s knee injury was far more serious than originally diagnosed. The initial ACL tear that was thought to take him out for the season hasn’t even been repaired yet. The microfracture and meniscus repair procedures had to be done first.
Microfracture surgery has been a difficult procedure for many athletes to recover from. Carlos Guillen and Clete Thomas both took a full year to come back, and neither one has recovered to full strength as of yet.
In other sports, Chris Webber was never the same player after microfracture surgery. And while Amare Stoudamire has come back to be an effective player, he had to change his game as he was nowhere near the explosive dunker he used to be.
Fortunately for the Tigers, they don’t need Martinez to dunk a basketball during the final two years of his contract. However, with the kind of damage sustained to that left knee, it’s not unreasonable to question whether or not Martinez will be at full strength for spring training in 2013. But since there’s now no doubt that Martinez is out for 2012, he can get as much rest and rehabilitation as he needs without trying to push for a quicker comeback.
UPDATE: CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reported that he's been told Martinez is expected to be ready for 2013, despite the microfracture surgery. In fact, Martinez's knee could be even stronger, as the procedure to repair the medial and lateral meniscus took care of wear and tear that had developed.
The Detroit Tigers added another power hitter to the lineup this week when they signed Prince Fielder to a nine-year deal worth an estimated $214 million. That has caused a couple of good problems for Tigers manager Jim Leyland, however, as he has to decide which slugger should bat in the fourth spot in the batting order each game.
Leyland was non-committal on that earlier in the week, however, saying he wasn't sure how it was going to work out.
"Somebody asked me the question," Leyland said last Wednesday at Toledo Mud Hens Fandemonium. "Does this have an effect on Miguel Cabrera hitting third or fourth? Most likely, sure, it probably does. But I don't have the answer how it's going to work out just yet."
Leyland had a couple of days to think about it, though, and he's apparently decided on his lineup according to the transcript of Thursday afternoon's press conference provided by MLive.
2:40 p.m.: Leyland on Tigers' projected lineup: Jackson, leadoff; Boesch second; Cabrera, third; Fielder, fourth: Young, fifth; Avila, sixth; Peralta, seventh; Kelly-Dirks-Thomas, eighth; Raburn, ninth.
It would have been pretty difficult to make a mistake in this circumstance, but having Cabrera hit third, Fielder fourth and Delmon Young in the fifth spot is going to make things difficult on opposing pitching staffs.
The Detroit Tigers made the signing of Prince Fielder official on Thursday with a press conference, featuring the player, general manager Dave Dombrowski, manager Jim Leyland, owner Mike Ilitch and Fielder's agent, Scott Boras. MLive.com had some notes from the press conference, which shed some light on how the signing of Fielder came about and how it all went down. As expected, the talks didn't surface until Victor Martinez suffered an ACL injury and was set to miss the entirety of next season.
Owner Mike Ilitch expressed his desire to acquire Prince much sooner than, say, this offseason, saying that he had always wanted Prince since the draft, since they'd missed him by one spot. Also a fun note is the fact that the talks apparently began with Boras following a joke in which the the Tigers asked if Prince would be interested in a one-year deal.
One concern for the Tigers is the lack of team speed. All credit to Fielder and his hitting, but the man is not going to win any kind of footrace or agility skills competition any time soon. When talking about Miguel Cabrera shifting to third base, Leyland said he wasn't concerned at all, and then added his philosophy on "slow guys":
If they hit them where they're supposed to hit them, they can trot. I'd rather have a slow guy that can hit, instead of a fast guy that can't. We're not a manufacture-type team. Any good manager, the key is to manage the players you have.
Fielder also talks about the adjustment to the American League and the pressure of his contract. In regards to the former, he said "it's all baseball," and the latter, he's not really concerned with. He's set no statistical goal for himself.
Leyland insists there will be a lot of versatility with the DH spot, especially with little nagging injuries that go on during the season. In regards to Brandon Inge, he is apparently not the happiest of campers, but the Tigers appear to want to keep him and use him wherever they can. At any rate, he's a starter being used for depth, and it's hard to argue that it's a bad thing (at least from the team perspective).
According to the post from MLive, Dombrowski said that the Tigers didn't have any kind of secondary plan in free agency (regarding Martinez) that compared to the signing of Fielder, who he describes as entering the prime of his career.
Signing Prince Fielder was a fantasy for Detroit Tigers fans. But with a $214 million contract, owner Mike Ilitch just brought rainbows and unicorns to Comerica Park.
The Tigers have scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference to officially announce the signing of Prince Fielder, whose contract with Detroit will run through 2020.
According to the Associated Press, the Tigers will pay Fielder $23 million each of his first two seasons, and then $24 million annually for the next seven.
Fielder's is the fourth $200 million contract in baseball history, the others belonging to Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez, who had two separate $200 million deals with the Rangers and Yankees. Fielder's $23.78 million average salary is fifth in baseball behind Rodriguez, Pujols, Ryan Howard, and Cliff Lee.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said in a press release:
"Prince Fielder is one of the premier offensive players in the game of baseball and we are extremely excited to add an all-star caliber player like him to our lineup.
"The addition of Prince is a testament to the organization's continued commitment to fielding a championship club."
Other specs of the Fielder deal: He is slated to receive $500,000 if he is voted AL MVP, and $200,000 if he finishes second through fifth. For each MVP after this first, he will receive $1 million. In addition, he will get $100,000 if he is an All-Star starter and $50K is he's a reserve.
Also according to the AP, Fielder will get a hotel suite on the road.
News of the Tigers' decision to sign Prince Fielder was shocking, and for many fans it is something they will never forget.
Cabrera confirmed the addition of Fielder will result in him shifting to third base in 2012 -- a position he last played in 2008.
"Return to third base," Cabrera told the Lider's César Augusto Márque, "that is my natural position."
The Tigers reportedly approached Cabrera about Fielder prior to the deal to gauge his interest in shifting to third and Cabrera expressed no hesitation.
Cabrera is a better first baseman than Fielder, but Cabrera has played over 3,000 innings at third base in his career, so having him move to the other corner obviously makes the most sense. Now, he has a negative UZR and drops the Tigers into the bottom third of the league amongst defensive third baseman, a regression from the middle of the pack in terms of that metric, but keep in mind that Cabrera's best season at third base was better than Brandon Inge last season (granted it was in about 500 fewer innings). Still, poor Brandon Inge.
On Tuesday, the Detroit Tigers reportedly agreed to terms on a nine-year, $214 million deal with Prince Fielder, in an effort to replace/lessen the blow of the injury to Victor Martinez. It's a huge contract, even if it is less than the deal that Albert Pujols received from the Angels earlier in the offseason (at $240 million over 10 years). Some more details have been trickling out about the contract, especially from Jon Heyman, who initially reported the signing:
there is no opt out in
#prince deal. heard $214M is spread pretty evenly over term. about $23.8M a yr. #tigers
That's a large amount of money per year, but most teams prefer an evenly spread contract. The fact that the deal has no opt-out is worth noting, so there was no selling point for Prince in getting out of Detroit after, say, five years or so. Many recent contracts have included opt-out clauses, which allow players to pursue other deals if they think they can get more than they're set to make on a current deal.
The Detroit Tigers suffered one of the major hits of the offseason for any team when Victor Martinez went down with a huge injury that put him out of next season, but now it looks like they've found a suitable replacement. Jon Heyman is reporting that the team agreed to a deal with Prince Fielder on a huge nine-year, $214 million contract. Fielder was considered the top free agent available and, as such, many figured he would be out of the Tigers' price range.
Some even said he wouldn't be a good fit immediately after Martinez went down, again, likely due to the fact that he'd come with such a high price tag. That being said, he did end up making less than the deal that Albert Pujols received this offseason from the Angels, a $240-million, 10-year deal.
Many thought that the Rangers, Mariners and Nationals were the top candidates to land Fielder's services. He hit .299/.415/.566 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI in 162 games a year ago for the Brewers. He's 27 years-old and has been incredibly consistent over the last few seasons.
Not even a sincere phone call from Justin Verlander, Mr. MVP himself, was enough to convince veteran righthander Roy Oswalt of his potential worth to Detroit baseball this spring. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler tweeted earlier today that Oswalt, for unspecified reasons, is not interested in coming to Motown this season.
The call from Verlander was obviously a nice touch, but it's clear that a rapidly-aging Oswalt is chasing a ring first and foremost, and believes a team like Boston offers the best opportunity.
General manager Dave Dombrowski has been eyeing Oswalt for a couple of years now, and after the Martinez injury, he probably figured a moderately-large splash on a veteran starter could scare away that black cloud hanging over the organization. Truth be told, it probably would have.
Verlander has played the role of Tigers PR man to prospective players before, but it really seems like Dombrowksi wanted to do everything possible to get this deal done and shore up the rotation. Plenty of other viable names are out there waiting by the phone, and judging by Detroit's level of aggressiveness post-Martinez, it might not be long before something goes down.
Pierre was abysmal on defense last year for the White Sox (-9.2 UZR). He is supposed to be an asset on the base paths, but he has led the league in caught stealing two years in a row. He hasn't seen an OPS north of .700 in three years and he will be 35 in August. He's a soft-hitting poor man's version of Damon (who could actually cost more) in an oversized uniform.
With Victor Martinez (likely) out for the season with a torn ACL, the Tigers must now try to find a bat that can replace a fraction of what he would have produced in 2012. One guy the Tigers are seriously looking at is Johnny Damon:
The Tigers are obviously familiar with Damon, as he played for the Tigers two years ago. He's been a model of consistency in the pros and one would think you know what you're getting. But that wasn't the case for Damon the first time he signed with the Tigers.
With Detroit, Damon had a line of .271/.355/.756 with eight home runs and 51 RBI in 145 games. He hit .261/.326/.743 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI in 150 games with the Tampa Bay Rays last season. In Damon's 17 seasons, he's only had three seasons (two coming early in his career) with a slugging lower than what he slugged in Detroit in 2010. His eight homers were the least he's had since 1997 and even his 11 steals were his lowest total since his rookie season in 1995 when he only played 47 games. Damon, entering his age 38 season, is not getting any younger, either.
Now, I thought he was an adequate replacement for Placido Polanco in 2010, and I was satisfied with his production despite otherwise having a down year, but I saw enough -- the Tigers should try to find another bat in attempting to replace Martinez.
The Detroit Tigers sustained a pretty big blow to their 2012 season when it was announced earlier this week that designated hitter Victor Martinez will miss it with an ACL injury. Losing a player to season-ending injury is never a good thing, but it's much worse when it happens to a player that's as important to the Tigers' offense as Martinez.
SB Nation Detroit's own Dave Ryan suggested that the Tigers should sign Vladimir Guerrero, but there are plenty of solid hitters still looking for a team prior to Spring Training. The team commented on one of them Thursday as general manager Dave Dombrowksi responded to a question from Angela Wittrock about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder.
"Of course we'd consider Prince Fielder," Dombrowski said Thursday afternoon at a stop on the team's Winter Caravan. "But realistically, it's probably not a good fit."
Dombrowski later said he wouldn't address any specific players, meaning Guerrero could still be on the board. Either way, it'll be interesting to see what happens as the Tigers look to replace Martinez over the next few weeks.
After good news earlier in the day regarding arbitration and re-signing some solid players, the Detroit Tigers were hit with some bad news on Tuesday, as the team has announced that designated hitter Victor Martinez has sustained a torn ACL in his left knee and is likely lost for the entirety of the 2012 MLB season. The official Twiter for the league tweeted the announcement.
Martinez injured his left knee last week during offseason conditioning, according to a release from the team. An MRI on Monday revealed that it was an ACL tear, and he'll be re-evaluated in a week for surgery to repair the torn ligament. There's a chance it could not require surgery, but all signs point to it being needed once the swelling goes down, as is the usual case.
There's still DH players available for the Tigers to snatch up to limit the damage, but Martinez was one of the key contributors to the team and one of the best in that regard. He hit .330 with 40 doubles and 12 home runs to go with 103 runs batted in for the 2011 season.
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