Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez left tonight’s action with what has been diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture of the radial neck of his right elbow, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press reports (Twitter links). Martinez will undergo a CT scan tomorrow to further assess the injury, but he’s already headed for the 15-day DL, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck (Twitter link).
Preliminary expectations are that Martinez will miss four to six weeks, though it would appear that we’ll need to await a full assessment before the timeline is fully clear. Youngster Steven Moya will return to the majors to take his place.
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The injury occurred when Martinez reached out to brace himself as he chased a ball into the right-field corner. He appeared to make contact with the wall at a funny angle, and immediately reacted in pain.
It’s a big loss for the Tigers, who are fighting for position in a tightly-bunched AL Central. Martinez continues to provide big-time offensive production from the heart of the order. The 28-year-old, once a reclamation project, has now established himself as one of the game’s most consistent sluggers who won’t easily be replaced.
Even if Martinez is able to make it back relatively quickly, it seems he’ll be out for most or all of the run-up to the trade deadline. That hurts the team’s chances of staying in the hunt and also may make it tough for the organization to assess its needs, though presumably the Tigers will at least have a good sense by that point of when Martinez will return.