The Detroit Tigers added Victor Martinez to make their offense better while having him occasionally catch as well back in 2011. As a catcher, Martinez is a great hitter. But as a hitter, his shortfalls behind the plate aren’t noticed. Don’t fret Tigers fans; Martinez will be a full-time DH and won’t see the field.
But man, this guy is a great offensive player. As a switch hitter, he makes solid contact from both sides of the plate. In 2011, he batted .330 with 12 HRs and 103 RBI. Coming into the 2012 MLB season, the Tigers felt that the addition of Prince Fielder to a lineup featuring Martinez and Miguel Cabrera would strike fear in the AL. But Martinez injured his ACL during off-season workouts and was out the entire season. With Cabrera coming off of the AL Triple Crown and MVP award and Fielder being Fielder, the Tigers have a really dangerous middle-of-the-order. On paper, they’re as strong as any team in the AL.
With all the above being said, it is hard to tell how Martinez will respond to the surgery. While most guys are able to come back from this injury, we haven’t seen him face live pitching. While he doesn’t have to play the field, he will still need to run the bases. This will be the real test moving forward.
In my mind, I think Martinez will very much enjoy the same offensive success he saw in 2011, and may actually have a chance to drive in more runs. The Tigers will be a lot of fun to watch this season, and Martinez will be a big part of that success.