Remember Victor Martinez last season?
He was that guy who posted a .330 average, the fourth best in the American League, and had his fourth 100 RBI (103) season. He was the Robin to Miguel Cabrera’s Batman. He was apart of the lineup that steam-rolled over the Yankees in the ALDS — winning the series 3-2. Yeah, it’s a distant memory now, I know. On August 17, it was announced Martinez would not play at all in 2012. This was a statement made by trainer Kevin Rand, who now focuses his energy on getting the 33-year-old back to full health for the 2013 season.
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Let’s rewind back to January, an interesting month for the Detroit Tigers. Spring training was right around the corner when Martinez suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. The hole left by the free-agent gem was eventually filled a couple weeks later by no other than Mr. Prince Fielder. Martinez would immediately fade into the background.
It was thought, at first, Martinez would miss the entire 2012 season after he was scheduled to undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery in early April. But doctors performing the surgery on his knee found that his torn ligament had stabilized enough after seven weeks of rehabilitation that only a minor surgery would be required. This gave hope that Martinez might make it back in late September, just in time for the playoffs. Now the club has to manage wins with the lineup they have. With end of the regular season in sight, the Tigers don’t have time to think about what 2013 brings.
Should Martinez be worried about it, though?
During the trade deadline back in July, rumors swirled about the possibility of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano coming to the motor city. Two hours after the deadline had passed, GM Dave Dombroski shot down all rumors that this was even a thought during the whole trading period. What he did make clear was that the club wasn’t waiting for Martinez any longer. He went as far as making it certain that they can win with their current lineup.
The pressure of coming back this year is now off Martinez, who will be 34 in November. It’s tough to say whether the Tigers will look to move him in the offseason. He has two years left on his four-year, $50 million contract. It’s a chunk of change for any club to take on, especially with the uncertainty of him at full health. At this point, the most both parties can do is wait and see how this season turns out for the club. For now, Martinez’ future in Detroit will remain a mystery.