Despite losing the last two games to the Cincinnati Reds, the Detroit Tigers have reasons to feel good about themselves. For one, the Tigers are getting their cleanup hitter back on Friday.
Detroit will activated designated hitter Victor Martinez from the disabled list before the weekend series against the New York Yankees. Martinez will be making his first appearance in a month as he went on the disabled list with a left knee injury on May 19.
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Tyler Collins will be optioned to Triple-A Toldeo to make room for Martinez on the roster.
As one every day player makes his return for the Detroit Tigers, another one is nearly ready to begin his rehab assignment. Catcher Alex Avila is reportedly feeling better and could begin playing games at Triple-A as early as next week.
Finally, the AL Central crown is not the only title the Tigers are defending this summer. First-year Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes has won the last two Home Run Derby contests at the All-Star break. It would be awesome to see Cespedes try to defend his crown and participate for the first time in a Tigers uniform, but that might all depend on Cespedes making the All-Star team.
"Martinez went 5 for 17 with a double, three RBIs and two strikeouts this week in four games while on a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Toledo. The Mud Hens left Syracuse, N.Y., to start a homestand Thursday night in Toledo. Martinez flew to New York on Thursday morning and waited for the Tigers to join him there following their brief stop in Cincinnati."
"Avila is scheduled to throw to bases Thursday and catch a bullpen during this weekend’s three-game series against the Yankees in New York. If all goes well, he could head out with Triple-A Toledo early next week.“I would say he’s close,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.Avila’s rehabilitation assignment likely will last longer than Victor Martinez’s four-day stint because Avila will need to build up innings behind the plate.He has been on the 15-day disabled list with a loose body in his left knee since May 9."
"But he wants to be there representing the Tigers in the game, not just in the home run hitting contest.“It is much better when you make the All-Star team, than just participating in the Home Run Derby,” he said through interpreter Aileen Villarreal, the Tigers media-relations director. “The overall experience is better when you are part of the team.”Cespedes seemed to indicate that if he wasn’t selected to the American League team, he may not compete in the derby.“I am still thinking about it,” he said. “But it will depend on whether I make the All-Star team.”"