The Astros activated outfielder J.D. Martinez from the disabled list prior to Friday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Angels. Martinez hasn’t played since injuring his left wrist in late July.
J.D. didn’t get into the action in last night’s 9-7 win and the Astros are likely to take a conservative approach, easing the 26-year old back into the lineup slowly. Martinez, who has been rehabbing at the Astros facilities in Florida, told Richard Dean of CSN Houston.com:
"Everything is going well, my wrist is feeling good. I’m at the point where I haven’t faced any live pitching now."
Under normal circumstances, at this point in his recovery Martinez would be sent out on a minor league rehab assignment. But the minor league season has already ended. So Martinez will have to work his way back into form against big league pitching. J.D. isn’t in Bo Porter‘s starting lineup today but he could get a spot start tomorrow. Or, a more likely scenario would be to get him a few pinch-hitting appearances prior to his next start.
J.D. Martinez (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Even though a hand injury cut into his playing time down the stretch last season, Martinez still managed to lead the club with 55 RBIs. J.D. drove in another 36 runs in 287 plate appearances this year before his extended stint on the disabled list. When he has been healthy, Martinez has been a pretty good run producer. But with the emergence of players like Robbie Grossman, L.J. Hoes, and Chris Carter, J.D. has almost become a forgotten man.
Martinez may not get much of a chance to prove himself over the next two weeks. For that reason, he has decided to play winter ball in an effort to show the Astros’ brass that he still has value to them as a player. The competition for roster spots next spring in Kissimmee is sure to be fierce. I’m not sure if there is anyone, Martinez included, that has a spot locked up in the crowded Astros outfield.