JD Martinez Out of Dodgers Lineup Thanks to Achy Back
As the Dodgers take on the Pirates for the first time this season, they also play without their designated hitter for the first time. J.D. Martinez is out of the Dodgers lineup for the first game this season which just so happen to come at an opportune time for top hitting prospect Michael Busch, who made his MLB debut in Pittsburgh.
While your first thought might have just been a day off for JD, it actually turns out that he’s dealing with a back issue after it tightened up on him in frigid Chicago on Sunday. MLB.com’s Juan Toribio was among those to report from PNC Park.
For the most part, it seems like it isn’t a big concern for the club. Dave Roberts spoke with the media ahead of Tuesday’s series opener.
“He just had a little something in his back. So, we just felt like giving him that extra day will be beneficial and we hope to get him back in there tomorrow. … [No alarms] right now. I think it’s something that he’s dealt with throughout his career, but right now it’s pretty minimal.”
So, for now we’ll hope for the best with the slugger while taking advantage of the opportunity for the rookie Michael Busch. Martinez is hitting .250 so far this season with 4 home runs and 15 total extra base hits in 23 games. His 15 runs batted in are third most on the team.
Bad Timing to Lose Slugging
While it’s nice to plug Michael Busch into Martinez’s spot, the timing is less than ideal for the Dodgers who will also be without Max Muncy in the lineup as he comes off a 7 game stretch that earned him Player of the Week honors in the National League. Muncy flew back to Los Angeles for the birth of his second child with his Mrs, Kellie.
Muncy is part of the baby boom going on for Los Angeles as he and Brusdar Graterol — who will also be away from the team for this series — join recent daddies Mookie Betts and Evan Phillips welcoming kiddos to the world. Notably, former Dodger Cody Bellinger also just went on the paternity list for the Cubs. These Dodgers got busy around the All-Star break nine months ago.