Minnesota Twins vs AL Central at Designated Hitter
Injury and age are plaguing the Tigers’ DH, Victor Martinez, this Spring Training. His outlook to make the Opening Day roster seems safe, as manager Brad Ausmus thinks Victor’s hamstring should heal in time. Either way, Martinez just celebrated his 37th birthday this past December, and missed over 40 games due to injury last year.
Always a Twins-killer, the veteran Martinez has put up big run-producing numbers for the Tigers since his acquisition 4 years ago. He’s averaged 88 RBIs during that time, even with stints on the DL. Conceivable that Martinez could put up a 20 HR/90 RBI year for the Tigers this year.
If he’s hurt, the Tigers will patch the DH spot with Steven Moya, Casey McGehee, and even giving All-Star Miguel Cabrera a breather in the DH spot now and then. The Tigers have a potentially potent lineup, but losing Martinez for any length of time would be a blow to the heart of their batting order.
The Indians did not have a full time DH last year, and this year looks to be more of the same. Carlos Santana is listed on their depth chart as the #1 first baseman and also the #1 DH. A team that has boasted DH’s such as Travis Hafner, Jim Thome, and Andre Thornton, will instead see Santana, Lonnie Chisenhall, and maybe even Marlon Byrd at the DH spot.
With the Indians having young players throughout their outfield, the DH spot will be mostly an afterthought for them. On the whole, expect low power numbers, as no Indians player on the roster hit even 20 last year. This is the weakest link in the AL Central as far as DH goes. An aggregate 15 HRs and 50 RBI from DH role would be an educated guess.
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