It’s 31 days before pitchers and catchers report for spring training at Lakeland and Tiger fans will be happy to hear that a left knee injury recovery program for designated hitter Victor Martinez is going very well.
The 34-year old switch hitter didn’t play for Detroit in 2012 after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and damaged meniscus last January 17th during a workout drill in Orlando, Florida.
Martinez had microfracture surgery and has been faithful to a slow and steady rehabilitation program. Today, he’s scheduled to be in Lakeland for preliminary base running drills and then early next month, start a regular batting practice routine. Martinez is a career .303 batter who hit .330 in his first season with the Tigers in 2011. The regular season for Detroit starts April First at Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is strengthening drug testing for players this year. MLB and the Players Association have announced they will start random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for human growth hormone this season.
Players were previously subject to unannounced blood testing only during spring training and the offseason. MLB has been randomly testing minor league players for HGH since July 2010 and is now the only major North American sport to blood test unionized players.