Free Press sports writer Anthony Fenech discusses Tigers story lines, including Miguel Cabrera’s ailments, Francisco Rodriguez’s struggles, and Justin Verlander and Victor Martinez after Tigers’ 5-3 walk-off win over the Rays on June 15, 2017.
Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez reportedly was hospitalized Thursday for something manager Brad Ausmus called “more scary than a general baseball injury.”
Ausmus told MLB Network Radio on Friday that Martinez stayed in a hospital overnight for observation and could do the same tonight.
It’s unclear what caused Martinez to be hospitalized, though CBS Sports, citing the MLB Network Radio interview, referred to it as an “illness.”
The 38-year-old Martinez, who joined the Tigers in 2011, went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Thursday’s 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Ausmus has considered moving Martinez down in the Tigers’ order. Martinez entered Thursday batting .257, his slugging percentage was the lowest among designated hitters in the American League at .374 and his foot speed is among the slowest in the league.
Martinez has just five home runs this season, remarkably low numbers for a cleanup hitter.
Ausmus told the Free Press earlier this week the decision to drop Martinez in the lineup would have more to do with J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton hitting well in their fifth and sixth spots, respectively, and less to do with Martinez’s struggles, which, combined with Miguel Cabrera’s slow start, has significantly hampered the middle of the Tigers’ order.
Cabrera went more than 100 plate appearances without a home run before Thursday’s walk-off blast against the Rays.