Ausmus: Tigers met with V-Mart postgame for DL move
The decision to put Victor Martinez on the 15-day disabled list, Brad Ausmus said, came out of a postgame meeting Monday night that included Tigers brass, including owner Mike Ilitch. It also included Victor Martinez, who pleaded his case to avoid the DL.
The decision, however, had already been made.
“He was upset,” Ausmus said. “He wasn’t upset in an angry way; he was upset because he didn’t want to go on the DL. He’s got a warrior mentality, and he fully wanted to show he teammates that he could play through pain, but I think it finally came to the realization to him that it was more than just pain — it was an injury that had to be taken care of. …
“As emotional as it was, Victor, he’s a good person, so I think he understood it. He didn’t want to have to go on the disabled list, but I think deep down he understands why.”
When Ausmus got the managerial job a year and a half, he talked about the difficulty of cutting players and dashing players. This didn’t compare quite like that, but it wasn’t easy either.
“It was difficult. And it wasn’t a short conversation. We spoke for while. Sometimes you’ve got to. I’ve got kids, and sometimes you’ve got to give them bad news. Victor’s obviously not my kid, he’s much too old, but he’s a great person, and I care about him. It’s hard to give good people bad news, news they don’t want to hear.”
Asked if Ilitch had anything to say, Ausmus said, “I would keep any conversation with Mr. Ilitch to myself.”
Here’s what else we know coming out of Ausmus’ pregame session Tuesday:
- Martinez aggravated the injury at the top of his left knee – not the meniscus area, but above it – against Kansas City at the start of the last homestand. He was coming off an encouraging series in Chicago before that. From that point on, his at-bats seemed to regress. “We kept seeing signs that he was getting better, and still being able to play,” Ausmus said. “By the end of the game last night, we just felt like we’ve slid too far backwards, and he needed to be off the field,” Ausmus said.
- When Martinez had four days out of the lineup, he had a cortisone shot in his knee. Monday was the test to see if it made a difference. “Watch the video, he ran as well as he has run all year down that line,” Ausmus said. “It’s just when he hit the bag, it grabbed him just similarly to the way when he jumped out of the way of certain pitches. He’s probably no worse today than he’s been on any other day. It just looked bad after he hit the bag.”