Detroit Tigers Links: J.D. Mart is key, No Cruz zone & V-Mart’s imminent return


Jul 10, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez (28) is congratulated by third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) and shortstop Eugenio Suarez (30) after scoring against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

J.D. Martinez Is Key To The Detroit Tigers Second Half – Rick Seroka, Detroit Jock City

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The Detroit Tigers outfield had been horrible before J. D. Martinez got here and his performance has pushed the other outfielders to improve their games. After returning from injury Torii Hunter was in danger of losing playing time to J.D. But lately he has turned his season around reminding us why Dave Dombrowski acquired him in the first place.

Everyone keeps waiting for J.D. Martinez to “slow down.” When he struck out four times on Friday night, it looked like maybe that was finally happening. The next night he went 3-for-4 with a huge ninth inning homer that helped cushion the lead. I’m sure he will have his cold stretches in the second half, but he might be comparable to Jose Bautista, who needed the right environment to develop his skills and become a solid big league player.

Detroit Tigers Still Made The Right Call By Avoiding Nelson Cruz – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

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For starters, the risk factor was simply too high. Cruz was 33 years old, and he was coming off of a 50-game PED suspension. Signing him would have also required the Tigers to surrender their first-round draft pick. Furthermore, even if the Tigers could have foreseen that Cruz would put together a season like this, did they really need a one-dimensional, right-handed hitting outfielder who had a reputation for playing poor defense? The answer to that should be a resounding no. This is a team that has been starved for left-handed bats and quality defense in the outfield for the entire season.

I was one of those on the fence about Cruz, simply because it would have cost the Tigers their top draft pick. If they were going to relinquish that pick, however, I would have much rather it been for Cruz, someone with power that could answer some of the power lost by Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta, and Omar Infante in the off-season, and not on Stephen Drew. Thankfully, they spent their pick on neither and both Plan-B’s (J.D. Martinez and Eugenio Suarez) have each worked out exceedingly well to this point.


Detroit Tigers expect Victor Martinez to return to lineup immediately following All-Star break – Chris Iott, MLive

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The Tigers open a four-game series with the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Comerica Park. Martinez appears to be on track to play in that game.

I have no doubt that if the Tigers had been struggling during the last week, V-Mart would have played at least a couple of games, especially against the second-place Royals. With the Tigers surging to the break, the team was able to rest their star DH. Despite not being allowed or willing to play in the All-Star Game (rescinding Ian Kinsler‘s snub in the process), it will nice to see Martinez in attendance and in uniform representing the Tigers for the first time in the fall classic.