Detroit Tigers’s slugger Victor Martinez, enjoying a career year and reaching unprecedented territory in terms of the rate at which he strikes out, will not be able to partake in this month’s MLB All-Star Game. Ian Kinsler will take Martinez’s spot as the DH heals from a side injury.
Jackson Alexander of MLB.com reports that Major League Baseball announced Kinsler as the replacement on Friday. This creates a roster spot for a guy in Kinsler who many considered to be a snub from the initial roster. As far as first half stories go, it doesn’t seem right that Martinez and his .328/.391/.599 slash line will not be in the game.
Then again, Kinsler touts an impressive line of his own at .305/.339/.477 with 11 home runs and nine stolen bases. As far as the strategy of the game goes, Kinsler also presents manager John Farrell with more versatility and athleticism off the bench to try and defeat the National League.
Whenever a player has to miss the All-Star game with an injury sustained after the rosters have been announced, that player’s team always advocates for the replacement to be one of their guys. This holds more water in some cases than it does in others, but it is awfully difficult to find fault with Kinsler as the choice here.
The Tigers have to be happy with their half of their big trade with the Texas Rangers this off-season. It wouldn’t be fair to call the trade a bust for the Rangers just yet, as Prince Fielder has plenty of time to produce in the middle of their lineup in seasons to come. But with Kinsler improving their team defense and putting together a solid all-around season that has now earned an All-Star nod, the Tigers are feeling good right now.