The Detroit Tigers announced today that Dr. Richard Steadman assessed the ACL in Martinez’s knee and decided reconstruction surgery was not necessary. Steadman did perform a procedure to help the healing of the ACL.
The timetable for recovery from the microfracture surgery Martinez underwent January 27 is about seven months, the Tigers said. If that stands, Martinez could return to baseball activities in late August or early September.
The MLife.com article says that Martinez would undergo a MRI sometime in July, which would determine whether he could play this season at all.
Victor Martinez tore his ACL while doing offseason conditioning earlier this month, which put his 2012 in jeopardy. As far as player injuries go, the ACL is a rough one because of the recovery period. But if there's one thing that's even scarier than an ACL tear, it's a knee that requires microfracture surgery. Unfortunately, Martinez has both:
The Detroit Tigers today announced that Victor Martinez underwent microfracture surgery and repairs to both the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee Friday.
Microfracture surgery is a relatively new procedure that carries an ominous stigma in basketball, but the effects are lesser known in baseball. Grady Sizemore had the procedure during the 2010 season, and while he's missed a lot of time since he returned, most of that has been because of problems with his other knee.
Though it's far too early to speculate on when Martinez will return, it's probably pretty safe to assume that he's caught his last game. And if you're thinking that the Tigers will just trade him when he returns to solve their roster logjam, this injury will almost certainly hurt any chances of that happening. Martinez is still owed $25 million after this coming season.
The big baseball news of the day is that Nate Schierholtz avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $1.3 million. Right behind Schierholtz, though, is the sad tale of Victor Martinez and his torn ACL. Tuesday, word spread that the Detroit Tigers will probably be without their talented DH and sometimes-catcher for all of the 2012 season.
Naturally, in response, the big question now is: how do the Tigers replace what they've lost? Many have offered different solutions. Here's a solution from Eno Sarris at FanGraphs:
Luckily, there’s a platoon slugger out there on the market that could help: Carlos Pena. Though the lefty has seen his work against southpaws dwindle to a 59 wRC+ last year, he’s still able to turn on offerings from right-handers. Over the last three years, he’s averaged a 130 wRC+ against them even, with a strikeout rate closer to 25% than 30% and an ISO closer to .250 than .200.
Squint and you could see a Raburn/Pena platoon managing offense that would be about 20% better than league average, along with about as much value with the glove as Martinez offered.
Carlos Pena has been a Tiger before. He batted .244, with a 111 OPS+. That was a long time ago. These two sentences don't necessarily have much to do with one another.
Pena could work, provided he's open to it, and the Tigers are open to it. More important than understanding that Pena could work, though, is understanding that a number of options could work. Martinez is a rough and visible loss, but at the same time, Martinez isn't a superstar. The Tigers didn't lose Miguel Cabrera or Justin Verlander. They lost a DH with a pretty good bat. They'll be hurt, but they'll survive.
We’re open to it by all means. Victor is a quality hitter, a key guy in our lineup. we do have some flexibility with positions players play with us. We’re in a spot where we could maneuver from within.
I’ve received numerous phone calls from agents in the last hour looking to place their players. We need to digest the situation, it all happened in the last day. We need to know what’s going on, and we’ll go from there.
You have a guy like (Ryan) Raburn who can play numerous positions, (Ramon) Santiago can play second and short, Andy Dirks can play a lot of outfield spots. We’ve got outfielders who we feel can DH. you’ve got all sorts of possibilities.
But the smart money is on the Tigers getting someone from outside the organization. They've invested too much in the 2012 season to fix this with bandages and popsicle sticks. MLB Daily Dish looks at some of the options the Tigers might have:
Two other possibilities outside of Cespedes could be free agents Johnny Damon and Carlos Pena, as Jim Bowden of ESPN notes. Signing either one would give Detroit a veteran bat to insert into the lineup, but they're both pretty limited defensively. Pena would certainly provide a bit more pop.
There isn't a shortage of DH candidates out there. If the Tigers could convince the White Sox or Cubs to eat a whole lot of money, Adam Dunn and Alfonso Soriano would be dropped off at the airport by their respective general managers. Dave Cameron suggestsCasey Kotchman as a possibility. Mike Cameron suggests Mike Cameron. The Tigers still have options. That's about the only consolation they can take from this awful news.