The Boston Red Sox will be heading into their series with Tampa without one of their biggest weapons as slugger J.D. Martinez is out due to back spasms.
Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez was removed from Thursday’s game against the Royals due to a nagging back issue. In his two at-bats in the win over Kansas City Martinez went 1-2 with a double and a run scored. He would officially be pulled in the 5th inning and replaced with Sam Travis.
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It would be revealed that J.D. began feeling discomfort in his back while running the bases during a Rafael Devers RBI single. This isn’t the first time that Martinez has dealt with back spasms this season as he missed some time in both April and May due to similar issues. It’s hard to treat that back as damn near anything can set it off.
Martinez is a big-time hitter and his bat will surely be missed if he does miss some time, especially in this ever-important Rays series. The Red Sox will treat and keep a close eye on J.D. and do not only what’s best for the team but what’s best for him more importantly.
"“He’s doing okay,” manager Alex Cora said. “Back spasms. Probably going to be a tough flight for him. We’ll know a little bit more tomorrow.”"
With J.D. being day-to-day the rest of the squad will need to be on their A-game in order to make up for his missing bat. It was announced today that J.D. would be sitting for tonight’s clash with the Rays. I fully agree with this decision from Cora as it is what’s best in the long run for the team and Martinez.
"“We don’t like it, obviously,” Cora said. “We’re treating him and trying to keep him on the field. We’ll see how it goes.”"
Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint, it may feel do-or-die at times but I’d much rather have J.D. healthy in October when we need him most. The one positive with this news comes from another big bat that has had back issues and that is Mitch Moreland. Per Chris Cotillo of Masslive.com, it’s being reported that Moreland will likely be activated from the IL this weekend as the Rays make their way to Fenway Park.
The Red Sox have a great chance this weekend against Tampa to erase the deficit they find themselves in and challenge the Yankees for the AL East crown. If they want to be a contender come the Fall Classic they’ll need J.D. Martinez at full strength. This could be a golden opportunity not only to climb the standings but to allow one of their best hitters to get healthy.