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.