Victor Martinez, 35, got his first All-Star nod since joining the Tigers in 2011, and his fifth overall. But soreness in his right side kept him out of five games last week. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Detroit — Although Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez got the news Sunday he was selected to the American League All-Star team, it’s not clear whether he’ll play.
Martinez, 35, got his first All-Star nod since joining the Tigers in 2011, and his fifth overall. But soreness in his right side kept him out of five games last week. With an off day Monday, he can rest and see how he feels ahead of Tuesday’s two-game home series against the Dodgers before a four-game series at Kansas City.
With the All-Star Game next Tuesday in Minnesota, Martinez is a question mark because of his health. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said it’ll be a joint decision based on Martinez’s health and what’s best for the Tigers in the second half of the season.
“Victor and myself and (president and general manager) Dave (Dombrowski) with (head trainer) Kevin Rand will be involved in the discussion,” Ausmus said following Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Rays. “Victor’s been chosen to be an All-Star so he’s probably going to go, regardless of whether he can play or not.”
But after missing the final two games in the Rays series, it’s unclear whether Martinez, who leads the Tigers in average (.328) and home runs (21) will be able to play at all this week, with an eye on the second half of the regular season.
“In terms of playing the game, Victor understands it’s more important to play the season than to play the All-Star Game. The honor is being selected and he’s more than deserving to be on the All-Star team,” Ausmus said. “If he’s not healthy to play or for some reason he plays in the Kansas City series or Dodgers series or both, it might be a situation where we still might be cautious during the All-Star Game because we don’t want something happening there. But we’ll just have to see how he feels.”
Martinez missed the entire A’s series beginning last Monday but returned for the first two games against the Rays before aggravating the injury on Friday in the sixth inning and coming out of the game. He hit a home run Thursday and went 1-for-2 on Saturday before his departure.
He hadn’t missed any games this season before the side soreness.