The Detroit Tigers received potentially devastating news Thursday afternoon when it was announced that DH Victor Martinez had suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee.
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The Tigers didn’t immediately announce a window for a return, though the average for an injury like this is anywhere from 4-8 weeks. That timetable would put Martinez possible for Opening Day, but no one will really know the damage until V-Mart goes under the knife of Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday.
Jason Beck has some interesting quotes from manager Brad Ausmus and GM Dave Dombrowski
"Team doctors examined Martinez on Wednesday and got mixed news. While the knee ligaments were fine, the meniscus was torn.“It’s a lot different,” Dombrowski said. “This one is cartilage.”That didn’t make the news any easier on Martinez.“I talked to him before he actually got the MRI,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “He was concerned, and he sounded down initially. Then I talked to him after the MRI, and obviously he was upset.“He was audibly shaken. I can’t say visibly shaken because I didn’t see him.”"
Beck also had this less than encouraging quote from Ausmus
"“We’re hoping for the best, but as last season showed, losing [reliever Bruce] Rondon and [shortstop Jose] Iglesias for the season, sometimes things are out of your control.”"
Then Anthony Fenech sent this Tweet out:
Look, we will not know the severity of the injury until Tuesday and the Tigers will likely hold off on making any moves to replace V-Mart until then. If he will be remember on or around Opening Day, nothing will be done. If longer they may look to make a move or replace with internal candidates.
Replacing with internal candidates might prove though, however. Remember Miguel Cabrera‘s status for Opening Day is still up in the air. Losing both Miggy and V-Mart not only takes the punch out of the lineup but also creates a hole in the 1B/DH depth chart where those two players currently reside.
So let’s take a look at some of the suggestions the web has for filling a possible V-Mart hole into April–though let’s hope that won’t be the case.
"The slugging outfielder known as Steven Moya possesses phenomenal raw power that could translate into big home run numbers once he reaches Motown. In addition to him, the team will also be able to call on Tyler Collins, a more all-around type who is solid in most aspects of the game on both sides of the ball.Both Moya and Collins got limited playing time in Detroit last season, but the two wild cards may be outfielders who have never worn the Old English D in a game. Daniel Fields has long been considered a solid prospect, but was hit with the injury bug in 2014. Because of this, former sixth-round pick was never able to establish himself at Triple-A Toledo last season and as a result wasn’t able to help the Tigers in any capacity. If he’s healthy this season, he may find himself in Detroit sooner rather than later.The other wild card is Wynton Bernard, a former San Diego farmhand who dominated at Single-A Western Michigan last year. He put up an impressive .323 batting average and was added to the Tigers 40-man roster this offseason in order to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He may not be the top name on the list, but the fact that he was added to the 40-man roster suggests the Tigers think highly of him. It at least gives him an outside shot."
The Tigers Should Replace Victor Martinez With Steven Moya – Evan Jankens, CBS Detroit
"Moya, 23, could be the replacement they need, and not as a DH either. J.D. Martinez doesn™t play the best outfield so why not move him to DH and let Moya play left or right field?In his minor league career, Moya has done better than OK.In 2013, Moya hit 35 homers with 105 runs batted in at the double A level. He hit .276 and I know that Dave Dombrowksi has mentioned Moya has all the tools and yes he will strike out, but the guy has power. Moya has the size, at 6 feet 6 inches tall, and weighing 230 pounds.You may read opinions on Twitter saying the Tigers should go out and sign free agent Dayan Viciedo, who previously played for the White Sox. I say no way. The only thing he brings over Moya would be experience. He has played for the White Sox since 2010. Since playing meaningful game for the White Sox he has hit .255 (2012), .265 (2013), .231 (2014). He has hit for some power amassing 25,14 and 21 home runs respectively."
What replacement options do the Tigers have for Victor Martinez? – Catherine Slonksnis, Bless You Boys
"One final option the Tigers have for DH and first base is Jordan Lennerton, a left-handed hitter from Triple-A. A non-roster invitee as well, Lennerton has spend the last two seasons in Toledo. Defensively Lennerton is a solid glove at first base in his career as a minor leaguer and could fit into the first base rotation temporarily.Much of both of the current situations depends on how quickly Cabrera can get back to playing first base. Until Cabrera is fully recovered, Avila will have to give up time behind the dish so James McCann will now, in all likelihood, be receiving more playing time than before.Once Cabrera is back though, the Tigers may just DH him and let first base take care of itself until Martinez is back on his feet. Even if the Tigers keep their options internal, which is what it appears to be the case right now, this complicates the Tigers’ spring training no matter how you look at."
10 candidates Detroit Tigers could consider as potential replacement for Victor Martinez – James Schmehl, MLive
"Dayan Viciedo: If the Tigers prefer to give Moya everyday at-bats at Triple-A Toledo, they could decide to turn their attention to Viciedo, who was released by the Chicago White Sox earlier this week. Viciedo could be a low-risk addition for the Tigers and could serve as an experience bench player. At 25 years old, Viciedo has 66 career home runs and has two more years of commitment-free control through arbitration. He’s a relatively cheap option for the Tigers, and probably their best external candidate if they plan on making a move before spring training.Chris Colabello: Colabello can play first base. He can play in the outfield. And he was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays earlier this week. Toronto now has 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the minors. Will the Tigers take a peek? Colabello, who hit .229 for the Twins last year, certainly wouldn’t be viewed as a replacement for Martinez, but he could give the Tigers much-needed depth as a bench player. He’s not the ideal replacement, but the free-agent pool is thin. Really thin."