Detroit Tigers Opening Day 2016: 3 Things to Know
By Ben Rosener
Victor Martinez as a Pinch Hitter
When the team’s lineup was announced for Opening Day, the Detroit Tigers continued the tradition of having a “Martinez” hit just behind Miguel Cabrera in the cleanup slot in the order. However, today it will be J.D. and not Victor Martinez.
With the game taking place in Miami and not in Detroit, the pitcher will hit. The Tigers obviously won’t have use of the designated hitter, meaning the man known as V-Mart will start the day on the bench.
The veteran obviously isn’t starting, but could see action as a pinch hitter. He doesn’t have stellar numbers against Miami relievers Craig Breslow (2-for-12) or Edwin Jackson (5-for-25), but he’s collected RBI against both pitchers in the past. What’s more, he has dominated fellow Marlins Dustin McGowan and found success in limit plate appearances against Chris Naverson. Martinez is 7-for-9 lifetime with a double, a home run and six RBI against McGowan. He’s registered a double, a walk and two RBI in two plate appearances versus Naverson.
Even against someone like Breslow or Jackson, the designated hitter likely provides a better pinch-hitting alternative compared to the team’s other bench options such as Tyler Collins, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Aviles or Andrew Romine.