Red Sox: J.D. Martinez will make Grapefruit League debut on Wednesday

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: J.D. Martinez /

J.D. Martinez will make his first appearance for the Boston Red Sox in a Grapefruit League game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

It’s finally happening. The long-awaited sighting of J.D. Martinez in the middle of the Boston Red Sox lineup is upon us.

Martinez will make his Grapefruit League debut in Wednesday’s home game against the Minnesota Twins. The game is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. at JetBlue Park.

The Red Sox will have a dozen spring training games in the books by the time Martinez joins the lineup, plus the pair of games against college teams that opened their exhibition schedule. His arrival to camp was delayed by ongoing contract negotiations with the free agent slugger.

Martinez agreed to a deal with the Red Sox after the team had held their first full-squad workout. It then took nearly a week for him to complete his physical and for both sides to make some last minute amendments to the agreement.

Better late than never. Just over a week after Martinez had his first official batting practice session with the team, he’s ready for game action.

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While Martinez is penciled in as the primary designated hitter this season, he’ll make his debut this spring in left field. The Red Sox have discussed using him in both corner outfield spots this season. Martinez has insisted that he’s a better defensive player than his reputation suggests. There’s no time like spring training for the team to find out first-hand.

Perhaps he’ll prove to be surprisingly adept at handling the outfield but that’s not why the team signed him. Martinez is expected to be a significant part of the solution to Boston’s power outage that plagued them last year. Coming off a season in which he blasted 45 home runs and led the league in slugging, Martinez was by far the best available free agent option to fill that void in the Red Sox lineup.

Now fans will finally have the chance to see that bat of his at work. The exhibition game may not mean anything. Yet seeing Martinez in the lineup means the world to a fanbase that craves another championship season. Martinez is the type of talent who can get them one step closer to that goal.

Next: Three player predictions for 2018

After a long winter of angst over whether or not he’ll sign, Martinez is finally joining the Red Sox lineup.