Kansas City, Missouri – Victor Martinez is officially out of the All-Star Game.
But his teammate Ian Kinsler is officially in.
The switch was announced before the Tigers’ game Friday night against the Kansas City Royals when it was decided that Martinez, because of the sore right side that’s been keeping him out of Tigers’ games, also would keep him out of Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
For Kinsler, who went into Friday night’s game hitting .305 with 11 home run and 49 RBIs in his first season with the Tigers, the All-Star appearance will be the fourth of his career.
The other three were with his first team, the Texas Rangers.
Kinsler joins Tigers teammates first baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Max Scherzer on the AL All-Star team.
As for Martinez, the decision had to come as a disappointment, but getting his side to heal is the priority. He plans attend the game.
The Tigers have missed him, of course, while he’s been out. But not as much as they could have.
The Tigers have been winning anyway — and sometimes winning big.
Friday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals was the 10th this year that Martinez, for various reasons, has not started.
The Tigers were 7-2 in the first nine.
All but one of the absences can be attributed to the side Martinez hurt on a swing in Houston two weeks ago.
Martinez was out of the lineup for the entire three-game Oakland series, which the Tigers swept at home.
Then he returned on July 3-4 against Tampa bay, with the Tigers winning one of those two games.
Going into Friday night’s game against the Royals, though, Martinez had missed the last three - all which the Tigers won, two of them by lopsided scores.
If the Tigers were losing without Martinez in the lineup, no doubt the need to get him back would feel more urgent.
But since aggravating the condition in the two games he played against Tampa Bay, the intention has been to get Martinez over the hump of another possible recurrence.
So the Tigers are being extra cautious with him this time – and have had the time to be cautious because they’ve been winning.
Consider the onslaught of Thursday night’s 16-4 victory.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history that six different Tigers’ players had at least two hits and two RBI in the same game.
Those Tigers who were part of the franchise-first on Thursday night were Kinsler with two hits and two RBIs; Miguel Cabrera, with two hits and three RBIs; J.D. Martinez with two and three; Torii Hunter, with three and three; Nick Castellanos with two and two; and Eugenio Suarez with two and two.
Kinsler, J.D. Martinez, Hunter and Suarez also scored multiple runs in the rout.
So it was, indeed, a parade - that didn’t need Victor’s presence to be one.
The Tigers know it’s a better lineup when he’s in it, so they obviously want him back as soon as a possible.
But they want him back 100 percent as soon as possible.
“From the left side it does,” manager Brad Ausmus said when asked his Martinez’s side grabs when he swings. “But it has significantly lessened.
“We want to get him back playing all the time. It makes it simpler (to have other hitters producing), but you have to be cautious no matter what.”
Around the Horn
Tigers’ pitcher Rick Porcello, via his new Twitter account (@RickPorcello) thanked fans for their support in the recent Final Vote campaign for the last spot on the American League All-Star team that Porcello did not win.
“It was going to take a lot for me to cave and join Twitter,” Porcello said in the note he posted, “but I am overwhelmed by how you made me part of your life, and I am excited to invite you into mine.”