V-Mart Could Return

The Detroit Tigers have had an incredible start to the 2012 season. After four games, they are the only unbeaten team in the American League. While that alone is probably too small of a sample to bring much in the way of praise and worship, the way in which they’ve hit double digits in runs scored for two of those four games shows how explosive a line up featuring Alex Avila, Miguel Cabrera and, of course, Prince Fielder can be.

If there’s one criticism I’ve had for Detroit’s chances this year it’s that the Fielder signing seemed to vault them from AL Central favourite to the elite of the American League when all it really served to do was add a two win above replacement upgrade over the injured Victor Martinez. One free agent signing seemed to make people forget that the team still has a less than desirable line up beyond the three players I mentioned in the opening paragraph.

However, with news released today that Martinez’s doctors didn’t deem reconstructive knee surgery necessary, that could all change. Now, let’s not go too crazy. It won’t actually be clear whether or not Martinez can return until at least July, but this bodes incredibly well for the Tigers

According to a statement issued by the team:

Martinez will continue his physical therapy until he is examined by Dr. Steadman in one month. The approximate recovery timetable from microfracture surgery is seven months, and any chance of Martinez returning to play late in the 2012 season would be determined at the time of his follow-up MRI in July.

While the Cabrera at third base experiment has had its ups and downs, it certainly hasn’t been the joke that many thought it would be. In fact, the most mockable part of the lineup to date has ended up being the designated hitter spot, a position that was, for one game at least, filled by Andy Dirks. Imagine replacing Dirks, or occasional spot starts of Delmon Young or Ryan Raburn with Victor Martinez?

The addition would not only solve a revolving door problem for Detroit, but also offer Martinez the opportunity to avoid the wear and tear of a fielding position while he comes back from what appeared to be a serious injury. Suddenly, we go from the two wins above replacement addition that Fielder gives us over Martinez to at least a four WAR improvement with the combination of Prince at first base and Martinez replacing the batters who would fill the DH position.

Even over the course of the final two months of the season, and on into the playoffs, a Martinez addition could create a much needed upper middle class in the previously large wealth of talent gap in the Tigers line up. Finally, some good news for the Detroit Tigers economy.

 

Comments (5)

  1. 3-4-5 of Cabrera, Fielder, VMart?

    Yes please

  2. This would be awesome. Aside from the Jays, the Tigres are the only team I want to see pummel the opposition every night. However, they need more starting pitching, unless they plan to win every game 9-6, 10-8, etc., which, well, it seems like they can do that.

  3. I still think they give two full wins back with Cabrera playing third everyday. I know he’s been “passable” so far, but all of those guys have several years left on their deals. But I guess if V-Mart comes back and looks good then they can trade him in the offseason and avoid the 3-DH problem next year.

    • There’s no 3 DH problem. V-Mart is the DH. Cabrera is the 3rd basemen, Fielder is the 1st basemen. If anything, Delmon’s the odd man out. V-Mart is a great player, but he’s aging and his contract is getting close to being done, not to mention worry about injuries. No team would trade for him unless it’s mid-season desperation.

  4. Less than desirable line up? Really? In what world? There’s two holes to complain about: DH and 2B. Sure, Delmon’s a bit aggressive and off to a slow start, as well as Boesch, but they’re the delicious bun of the Cabrera/Fielder sandwich. Delmin and Boesch are fastball hitters and are going to benefit immensely from their spot in the lineup. Boesch hits well off lefties and is only going to benefit from having Fielder to learn from. Any team that features two all-stars, in Peralta and Avila, in the bottom third of the order is desirable. I hardly think there’s reason to use “less than” to describe the Tigers’ lineup unless you’re going to say slightly less than absolutely horrifying for starting pitchers. Concerning Cabrera at third, I will continue to read this blog if only to routinely see how much crow can fit in one stomach.

    Complain about something relevant, like pitching.

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