Monday, February 25, 2013
V-Mart ready for business
By Jason Catania
As potent as the heart of the Detroit Tigers lineup was in 2012, it will only be better this season now that Victor Martinez is back.
After missing all of last year recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, Martinez looks great, according to GM Dave Dombrowski. The 34-year-old veteran has handled every test so far, including running the bases, as he prepares for his return.
If there were any questions about his bat, Martinez helped put those to rest Sunday, as MLive.com's James Schmehl writes, with a 3-for-3 performance that included a long home run to center. Schmehl also reports that Martinez is set to handle first base duties Monday with Prince Fielder getting the day off. The Tigers don't plan on using Martinez at first all that often, but they seem interested to at least find out if he can be used there on occasion, likely whenever Fielder needs rest. The Tigers have said they don't want Martinez to catch anymore, especially in the wake of his knee injury.
In his last action back in 2011, V-Mart hit .330 with 102 RBIs and 40 doubles. Adding that type of bat to hit behind reigning AL MVP -- and Triple Crown winner -- Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder will only give the Tigers lineup, which has an emerging star in Austin Jackson at the top and newcomer Torii Hunter likely in the No. 2 spot, even more depth and production.