JD Martinez of the Detroit Tigers left Saturday’s Spring Training game against the Marlins after he endured a foot sprain, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com. He was an All Star in 2015 and has hit 83 home runs over the past three seasons for Detroit.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, foot sprains typically require players to miss two to four weeks. He is truly week-to-week as they wait for his foot to quiet down. However, that may require him miss the beginning of the season.
Martinez joins Cabrera as the second Tiger slugger to be dealing with an injury in recent days. Cabrera is still expected to be ready for Opening Day and will be asked to step up in light of his teammates injury.
Steven Moya, 25-year-old prospect, seems to be the best option to replace Martinez in right field. He has 120 minor league home runs, including 20 home runs and a .283 batting average with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in 2016.
He has 124 at-bats at the Major League level, dispersed across the past three seasons. His power impressed in an extended appearance at the big league level in 2016, hitting five home runs and batting .255 in 94 at-bats. However, Detroit’s lineup has been stacked with talent recently. An injury seems to be the only way he can earn real playing time. He should see that in Martinez’s absence.
Moya is likely in line to play right field and finally have the extended showcase he had been searching for. He could have some temporary fantasy value early in the season, but he should be on waiver wires after drafts so do not waste a pick on him. Nonetheless, starting in right field may not be chiseled in stone yet, he is hitting just .219 with one RBI and one extra base hit.
Tyler Collins was also battling for a roster spot this Spring, but that may have been solidified once the Tiger’s learned of the Martinez injury. Collins could also see increased at-bats by playing left field, should Detroit look to move Justin Upton over to right field while Martinez is injured. But if the Tigers choose to keep Upton in left field, it will likely be because they decided to start Moya in right field. That scenario would deem Collins useless in fantasy leagues.