Torii Hunter: Keep J.D. Martinez in there
Torii Hunter is proud, as he should be. He isn’t crazy. He knows what J.D. Martinez is doing.
He knows better than to expect to get his old job back whenever he’s ready to play in games again. Because if he was the manager, he wouldn’t do it, either.
“Play the hot hand,” Hunter said after Martinez’s latest heroics Friday night. “If it’s going to bring a ring, you keep that sucker in there. It’s no big deal. Seen it. Done it. Been there. I’m about winning. Even when I come back, hopefully he stays in there.
“Keep him in there, keep him hot. Always play the hot hand. If I was the manager, that’s what I would do.”
The slow recovery of Hunter’s left hamstring has rendered that decision moot for now. Hunter ran on the field Friday afternoon, ran bases at about 80 percent of game speed, and took batting practice once again. He plans on running the bases again Saturday, this time close to full speed, and see if he might be able to pinch-hit tonight.
As far as returning into a game, however, any plans to do so this weekend seem to have dissipated.
“We’ll probably wait and see how it feels on Monday,” Hunter said.