By Will Burchfield
J.D. Martinez’s recovery from a sprained right foot continues to trend in the right direction.
Earlier this week, he had his cast removed. And after the ensuing rehab activities went well, Martinez took some swings on Friday, albeit without trying to hit a ball.
“He said he had a good day yesterday,” Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said on Saturday prior to his team’s game versus the Boston Red Sox. Then the manager paused to refresh his memory.
“Let’s see,” he said, pulling out his phone and opening his text conversation with Martinez.
“He said, ‘Good day, was able to swing today,'” Ausmus reported.
It wasn’t groundbreaking news by any means and Ausmus isn’t one to blow things out of proportion.
“So he swung a little bit. Probably dry swings, I didn’t really get into it with him but he said he able to swing a bat,” said the skipper.
Still, it’s another sign that Martinez is progressing well, even if Ausmus wasn’t interested in slapping a timetable on his return. Right now, the Tigers are taking it day by day with their slugging right fielder.
“There’s no timetable,” Ausmus said, “We’ll see how he progresses.”
Original estimates by Dr. Robert Anderson had Martinez out for three to four weeks. That would suggest a return by the end of the month, although that will largely depend on Martinez’ ability to ramp up his rehab.
“It’s just as tolerated,” said Ausmus. “There’s no timetable for when he can start baseball activities. If, two days from now, he feels great, he can start then.”
“That’s the extent of what I know, really,” he added.
Until Martinez returns, the Tigers will go with a platoon of Tyler Collins and Mikie Mahtook in right field, with Collins playing against right-handed pitchers and Mahtook against lefties.