Martinez scratched with lower back spasms

Victor Martinez had managed to stay in the Tigers lineup for two weeks after spraining his left knee in Kansas City. But on Monday, it was a bout of lower back spasms that knocked him out. He was a late scratch from Detroit’s batting order.

Martinez was slated to bat in his usual spot behind Miguel Cabrera. Without him, Alex Avila moved up to the fifth spot in the order for just the second time this season. Cabrera took the DH spot, while Don Kelly was inserted into the lineup at first base, batting eighth.

Martinez is batting .326 (15-for-46) with two home runs and six RBIs over the last two weeks. His absence tests the depth of a Tigers lineup that has spread out its damage in recent weeks up and down the order.

30 Comments

Inge the backup catcher? I tought that Kelly was playing first to allow him to be the backup catcher

Another reason to call up Santos or any catcher from aaa.

It was really strange to see Verlander pitching in a nearly empty ballpark. Didn’t matter, he did it again. I wonder if the Tigers were having trouble with the dome, because they looked a little shaky on some of those in the air. Boesch heard about it from JV, that’s for sure. Justin is definitely in charge during his starts.
I hope Valverde isn’t going to repeat his late fall off like last year.
Good to get this one, because Tampa is a very good team. A split would be great.
So that concludes the 6-game stretch I spoke of last week. We got strong starts in 5 of the 6 and won 5 of the 6, although we won a bad start and lost a good one. Same result, and here we are 5.5 games up in the division. Couldn’t have worked out much better. Good job, guys.

I was reading about the “beanball” business yesterday. I didn’t see any way that Porcello was throwing at Cabrera there. It just wasn’t the situation for it and I was suprised that it was taken as such by Manny Acta. Manny usually has a cooler head than that. I’m not surprised that As*drubal reacted as he did. I’ve never liked that guy, not since the Sheffield fight in 2008. As*drubal needs to grow up and become a team leader, not a distraction.
The warnings were ridiculous. As usual, a guy did get hit later but there were no ejections, nothing. So what’s the point of the warning? For that matter, what’s the point of Joe West being an umpire?

They got the win but once again JL brings on VV in a non-save situation and he struggled. 22 pitches, a home run, 2 men on base. Whew! It has to be a concentration thing and VV does not without a save available.

What’s your takes on the two Santiago catches that almost ended as collisions or drops? With Boesch it looked like Boesch just pulled up, maybe didn’t call it. Looked like JV said something to Brennan in the dugout. I was thinking Jackson could have made the other catch relatively easily but had a long way to run and either didn’t call it loudly enough or just didn’t call it.(He’s so fast he barely has TIME to call it!) Santiago showed great range but I didn’t think either catch should have been his. Was he playing a little too recklessly there? Maybe the pop fly that dropped between him and Magglio the other night got him thinking too much, not wanting that to happen again? Seems like an unusual amount of bloop flies to the same area lately. Hopefully Ramon gets a break from them for a while.

It could be the dome, if we want to cut them some slack. There are all kinds of scaffolding and speakers and such up there. Other than that, it looked like what you said it was, Marty. JV was also saying something on the mound after the Boesch play but I can’t repeat it here, even at this late hour. Jackson would have had to have called that earlier than he probably knew he had it. When Santiago made the move for the catch, I’d like to see Austin drop to the ground at that point to avoid the collision. Better to have Ramon fall over him then to run into him. I suppose it’s telling that JL replaced Boesch with Raburn for defensive purposes…………
Speaking of Boesch, it was good to see him rip a hit. That ballpark probably didn’t hold many pleasant memories for him after last year’s visit.

JL announced ( for the life of me I don’t know why he publicly does this) that Benoit and Valverde are not throwing tomorrow.
This is why I said I would’nt use Valverde in the non-save. A four run lead cold have been entrusted to Pauley or Perry and save Valverde for when he does best. It’s pretty logical really. Now if you have a close one tomorrow your playing a guessing and hoping game.

For it’s worth I have more faith in Coke than VV right now (coke pitching well right now). For a righty, I have more faith in Perry than Pauley – neither (especially pauley) haven’t worked much lately. And of course there is Schlereth, who pitched well in the cleveland series but not the last game against Minny. Funny how once we got Benoit and Coke rolling….VV starts to pitch like Rodney.

my point being: use coke, perry and maybe schlereth tomorrow and we might be alright

Marty, after looking at the replay on the last Ramon catch, I am not sure if AJ could have caught it. Santiago has some speed and he thought he had it all the way. Boesch was late getting to the first one and yes , should have been screaming for it. If I was the manager, there is no way I bring in Valverde to start the 9th. I’m just sayin’………..Great win. The HR by Joyce really made JV mad!

Great win again guys, Jhonny P came up big and AA again did terrific. Missed all but the last 2 innings so did not see the play with Boesch in the outfield, I take it he let the ball drop and Justin gave him a hard time. Those guys will listen to him, he is their leader right now, even when not playing.

It was quite sad to see that empty ballpark.

I agree DB on not bringing in Valverde in the non save situation. We gotta to be in the majority here. JL burns him unnecessarily. He simply will not trust any other formula. I don’t blame him for wanting to make absolute sure of the win but there is a reason that saves are credited for no more than a 3 run lead. Your weakest reliever should be able to limit the damage to 3 runs or less just by throwing strikes.
.
I guess if JL put in a different reliever and then they blew the game, some of us would be second guessing him for that. I’d hope I wouldn’t be one of those. What I do hope is that if this same situation should come up again, JL would actually try something different.

“gotta to be…..” let’s try “gotta be” :-)

Another view on pitching Valverde last, I remember at least a few times where JL has brought in another reliever to finish a game and he couldn’t and had to bring in Valverde anyway. Not saying I agree with JL’s move last night but I see where it came from.

Yeah, so now Valverde is not available. Perry could have come in or Coke or Pauley. Kelly hits a big fly to pad the lead. I can not critize the manager but what would you have done? Good point, it was a non save situation.

I hear ya Mayo but maybe Perry comes in and gets them 1,2,3. We won though and lets score a ton of runs tonight!

Okay, I’ll be the minority opinion. Valverde is warming up in a 4-1 game and I still bring him in even though Kelly’s homer made it 5-1. I didn’t time it, but how much time would another reliever have had to warm up? And which of our relievers have the ability to warm up quickly? I don’t trust Pauley or Perry, but I could see using Coke if he could get ready that quickly.
There’s no logical reason why Valverde should pitch differently with a 4-run lead as opposed to a 3-run lead. I think something’s ailing him, which would be an entirely different can of worms. If he’s healthy, then this is an issue I consider when it’s time to re-up the closer. I’m thinking of that tie game scenario here again.
By the way, Alex Avila should draw serious consideration as this team’s MVP this season.

So then what is the word on Martinez! Is this back stuff going to be behind him in a day or so? How are his knees? When can he play catcher again? Not that i don’t heart AA batting 5th

They dont have a closer for tonight, so why he used the one he has last night without need to do it? And no eight inning pitcher either . Why Benoit did not pitched the 9th last night?
With Penny of all them starting against their best pitcher.
And you cant pray for rain in Tampa

Good post , Rich. Forgot about him warming up. I was also thinking to bring Benoit back in for the 9th but that goes against the “game plan”. Makes sense if Valverde is not throwing stikes or his splitter maybe he is hurting. Peralta should also be considered MVP. Mr Reliable.

I think Valverde is almost exclusively a fastball pitcher right now. I was so impressed with his absolutely devastating splitter at the beginning of last year. He seems to have lost it. I hope to heaven he can get that pitch back into his quiver.
Couple of minor league points:
Santos will most certainly be called up in a week. He is on the 40 man roster. Last night he set up two runs with two sac bunts!!!
Now that’s a novelty. I don’t know much about him but I presume he is servicable at a MLB level. If he can drop down a bunt—all the better in the stretch run.
Drew Smyly threw a gem last night in AA. He has been virtually untouchable since his promotion. He seems destined for major league duty next year.
I suspect the lineup tonight could see Maggs in right, Inge at 3rd and Raburn at 2nd.
N.B. JL, don’t be afraid to have Avila lay one down against Price if the situation warrants. The guy has done everything (and more) that has been asked of him and is on such a roll that I don’t doubt he can do that too.

JL said last night that Ordonez and Raburn would start tonight. Inge would be part of the L-R plan. I’ll be honest, I don’t expect us to win tonight’s game no matter what we do. I can’t see Penny outpitching Price, but anything can happen of course.
I’ve read in the past that a splitter is very hard on a pitcher’s arm. I wonder if Valverde has some damage that he’s pitching over?
So we’ve got a closer who can only close and a starter who can only pitch at night. Anymore peculiarities among these people? If JL was 35 years old, he’d still look the way he does just from managing this outfit.

I have heard that VV is a 1 pitch man these days

Man! The epicenter of that quake was right down the road here. Good to know I can still move that fast, but some of the neighbors still beat me outside.
How’d you like that, Greg?

Now that’s a shock!!
So is the DBacks getting Aaron Hill. Bad season good player. Would be an asset to any club IMO.

Thome passed waivers – as well as W-Rod. I’m praying the SOX and Indians didn’t snatch either of them up – they are quality.

Jackson CF
Maggs RF
Young LF
Cabrera 1B
Martinez DH
Avila C
Peralta SS
Raburn 2B
Inge 3B

I just got in from school. Our building shook for 30 seconds during the Louisa earthquake. Better be ready for those aftershocks Rich.

Oh yeah! I’m in Roanoke, about 140 SW of the epicenter

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