Dodgers News: JD Martinez Improving, Return Imminent
The Dodgers have been without their designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, for the last 11 games as he battles back from a lower back strain suffered in Chicago. Despite his absence, the boys have been playing well. The Dodgers are 8-3 over that stretch and have found all different ways to win games as guys like Chris Taylor and Miguel Vargas start to figure things out.
Still, this is a roster that’s much better with Martinez on it. And that could be happening within the next few days. In a recent update, JD is back swinging the bat and has taken batting practice the last couple of days. The expectation is that he’ll be back during the upcoming series in Milwaukee with Tuesday circled on the calendar at the moment.
Martinez last played on April 23rd in Chicago. At this point that’s two weeks ago and counting. Considering how much of a feel guy the slugger is at the plate, there’s a chance he’ll need to face some pitching before getting back in the lineup.
“That’s going to be more on him and the training staff to figure out,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Whether it’s a rehab or whether it’s bringing in a pitcher to take at-bats against or something like that. He’s going to need some live at-bats, for sure.”Via SNLA
It wouldn’t be shocking to see JD go out on a quick one or two game minor league rehab assignment, much like we saw with Miguel Rojas recently, but it’s more likely that someone would come in to face him when the Dodgers get to American Family Fields on Monday.
Martinez is hitting .250 this season with 9 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs and 15 runs batted in. His .840 OPS is fifth highest on the team.
Where Will JD Martinez Fit Back in the Dodgers Lineup
Roster wise, it’s reasonable to expect that Michael Busch will be the odd man out on the roster. He hasn’t played much over the last week and, as another left-handed batter on the bench, doesn’t necessarily fit at the moment.
Once Martinez is back, he’ll slot back in as the more or less every day DH and likely bat behind Max Muncy in the 5 hole in the lineup, lengthening the 6-9 spots in the order. The slugger will also see some time as the clean up hitter vs left-handed pitching, something the team has struggled against all season.
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