Detroit — Victor Martinez fought, and he fought, and he fought some more.
The Tigers, though, finally have said enough's enough.
Martinez, the Tigers designated hitter who finished runner-up in last year's American League MVP voting, has been placed on the disabled list with left-knee inflammmation, the team confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
The News reported early Tuesday morning that outfielder Tyler Collins was being promoted from Triple-A Toledo, and the Tigers also have confirmed that move.
There's no timetable on when Martinez could return to Detroit, though it's likely to be a stint on the DL that far exceeds the minimum stay of 15 days.
Martinez, 36, was 0-for-4 in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Brewers at Comerica Park, including a rally-killing double play in the eighth inning. Martinez appeared to aggravate the left knee as he crossed over first base.
After the game, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus met with owner Mike Ilitch and general manager Dave Dombrowski, and suggested the team might have to consider all options, including the DL, with Martinez, who has hit well right-handed but poor left-handed. Most at-bats for a switch-hitter, of course, are from the left side, with more right-handed pitchers.
Martinez signed a four-year, $68-million extension with the Tigers early this offseason, then hurt his knee while working out later in the offseason. He had surgery, and it was impressive that Martinez rehabbed quickly enough to play on Opening Day, but he hasn't looked anything like the guy who had his career year in 2014.
Martinez is batting just .216/.308/.270 in 34 games, with just one home run.
Martinez didn't start Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and the Tigers offense broke loose in three of those four games. That might not be a coincidence.
The Tigers desperately are lacking left-handed pop — with Martinez's issues, and Alex Avila (knee) on the disabled list — so Collins, 24, who doesn't have a home run in 32 games at Toledo this year, got the callup.
Collins has hit .248/.338/.301 this year at Toledo and hasn't really gotten hot yet, but his line-drive rate has increased greatly in recent weeks. He also has very good numbers against right-handed pitchers.
Center fielder Daniel Fields, who also hits left-handed, was another guy the Tigers considered, and he's had a better season so far than Collins, but the Tigers are being patient with the prospect who's had an injury-hampered career. Collins had two stints with the Tigers last season, one early and one late.
Collins likely will see some time in right field and designated hitter, exclusively against right-handed pitching. Rajai Davis' playing time is likely to increase in Martinez's absence, as well.