We all have called for it, and it now might be happening. According to Tony Paul of the Detroit News, the Detroit Tigers could be placing designated hitter Victor Martinez on the disabled list to recall outfielder Tyler Collins from Triple-A Toledo prior to Tuesday night’s game with the Milwaukee Brewers.
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It is not that Tigers’ fans suddenly dislike Victor Martinez, on the contrary, we want him to get healthy and it appears that playing through the injury is not helping.
Watching games is tough because at least once every game, V-Mart seems to be in physical pain and it is hampering his productivity. With a healthy knee he might be able to drive the ball, instead he is not getting the ball out of the infield much, and is hitting .216 with one homer and 15 RBIs.
After another tough game in which he bounced into a double play and appeared to hurt the knee again as the Tigers were mounting an eighth inning rally in the 3-2 loss to the Brewers on Monday night, Martinez seemed dejected and frustrating. A reporter asked him after the game if he was hurting the team right now and he said he could not answer that question.
Reports stated that Dave Dombrowski and owner Mike Illitch were in the clubhouse after Monday’s loss which is usually signs of a pending move.
It is apparent that Victor, who signed a four-year, $68 million deal with the Tigers in the offseason after the best season of his career in 2014, is hurting the team. The only way for him to become the Victor of old is to rest that knee whether it is 15 days or a month. A rejuvenated and healthy V-Mart for the stretch run would be akin to a trading deadline acquisition except the Tigers would not have to trade any pieces.
Meanwhile, Collins has not really earned this promotion on merit, but perhaps because he was next in line. Penciled into the 25-man roster throughout Spring Training, he experienced a rough March and was one of the final cuts so Detroit could carry two backup infielders in Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez.
Collins could be a nice bat off the bench, as he showed in limited big league action after September call-ups last year, but he is still looking for his first home run of the season for the Mud Hens and is only hitting .248 with an OPS of .639.
It’s hard to imagine that those numbers will vastly improve at the big league level, but stranger things have happened. Xavier Avery or Daniel Fields have had solid starts to their AAA seasons and could have been rewarded with a promotion as well.