Detroit — Baseball wasn’t always so deferential to big-leaguers and births, but times have changed, and the Tigers will be without designated hitter Victor Martinez for the weekend series against the Rangers at Comerica Park.
Martinez will leave for Orlando, Florida, after Thursday’s game to be with his wife, Margret, for the arrival of their fourth child.
Martinez will be placed on paternity leave, allowing the Tigers to summon a replacement, presumably from Triple-A Toledo.
With the Tigers scheduled to face three right-handed starters against the Rangers, a strong possibility for Martinez’s fill-in would be left-handed hitting Efren Navarro, who can play first base or the outfield.
Navarro, 31, is batting .305 for the Mud Hens, with three home runs and an .861 OPS.
The Tigers were readying Thursday for a series-finale game against the Orioles at Comerica Park (1:10 p.m.).
Jordan Zimmermann was to start for the Tigers against Dylan Bundy. The Tigers are 19-19 on the season and 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Twins.