Detroit Tigers Have High Expectations for Victor Martinez
A torn ACL ligament doesn’t mean what it used to mean in sports. It used to be that if you tore your ACL you had very little chance of becoming the player you once were or even playing at all. That’s not the case anymore. We live in a world now where athletes come back better than before.
The Detroit Tigers hope that’s the case for Victor Martinez who will be coming back off of an ACL tear from before the 2012 season. He missed all of last year and has not seen live pitching since 2011 due to surgery on his knee. The 34-year-old veteran hopes to pick up right where he left off.
In 2011, Martinez hit .330 with 103 RBI’s for the Tigers and they hope he can do the same in 2013. He faced live pitching for the first time in Lakeland, Florida this last week and he reminded the Tigers of the player he could be. He faced a couple different pitchers hitting balls into the gap and driving the ball well in a batting session that manager Jim Leyland admitted was more for the pitchers.
I understand the expectations that Detroit has are well placed but I’m not sure if the aging Martinez will be able to achieve them. Let’s face it, he’s not getting any younger and he’s coming off of major knee surgery. I understand that he’s a career .303 hitter and has drove in over 100 RBI’s in four different seasons as a pro but I’m not sure he will be the player he used to be.
Honestly, I hope I’m totally wrong, he very well could have a great year. He seems to be progressing well and healthy for the first time in over a year which is always a good sign. When players get older the game tends to speed up on them and I think you can already tell its happening.
Martinez was quoted saying “It was a little faster than I remembered, but that was something I expected.” Which could just be the rust of not seeing pitching for a while or just maybe it could be his age catching up with him combined with years at the catcher position.
Like I said before, I hope I’m terribly wrong on this one but if I were the Tigers I wouldn’t put such high expectations on the man. He might be productive but maybe not at the high level they’re expecting.