March 3rd, 2013

Leyland: V-Mart will return Wednesday, time off was planned

Jim Leyland provided a little bit more clarity to the Victor Martinez situation, saying he’ll rejoin the Tigers lineup on Wednesday after the team’s off-day on Tuesday.

Leyland also said that getting Martinez away from the lineup for a few days was “planned all along.”

“We’re going to get him some at-bats, then back him off a little bit, get him some at-bats, back him off a little bit,” Leyland said. “I’ll watch him close. I’ve got to watch him, because he wants to go on every trip and play in every game. And to the advice of the trainers, [we're going to] just be careful. I appreciate Victor’s eagerness because he’s so thrilled to be back, and I’m thrilled to death to have him back.”

When asked further if this was all planned, Leyland denied speculation that Martinez injured himself Thursday against the Mets.

“Victor is fine, trust me,” Leyland said. “You guys are being real suspicious. Victor is absolutely fine. The trainers told me coming in [to] get him going, get him going good. … Get him an at-bats, back him off, get him going again, back him off, then peak him for the season. That’s been the plan all along with it.

“Somebody saw him grimace the other day, so they think Victor’s hurt. Victor is not hurt, trust me.”

Sunday: Tigers at Braves

As expected, Victor Martinez is out of the lineup for a second consecutive day as the Tigers continued to “back him off.” Prince Fielder also isn’t on the trip. Subtract Miguel Cabrera and Omar Infante, who both just left for the World Baseball Classic, and the regulars in the Tigers lineup today consist of Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila. Nick Castellanos, however, gets another start in left field.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, DH
  3. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  4. Alex Avila, C
  5. Jeff Kobernus, RF
  6. Nick Castellanos, LF
  7. Matt Tuiasosopo, 1B
  8. Argenis Diaz, SS
  9. Hernan Perez, 2B

P: Max Scherzer

BRAVES

  1. Reed Johnson, RF
  2. Jason Heyward, DH
  3. Justin Upton, LF
  4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  5. B.J. Upton, CF
  6. Dan Uggla, 2B
  7. Juan Francisco, 3B
  8. Evan Gattis, C
  9. Ramiro Pena, SS

P: Mike Minor

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