Tigers DH Victor Martinez hasn’t made any formal decisions on his future, but the five-time All-Star at least hinted at retirement following the 2018 season during an interview with MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince. The 39-year-old Martinez, who missed time last season due to an irregular heartbeat, talks with Castrovince about the frightening incident when he first felt symptoms during a game — a sensation that was all the more troublesome given the history of heart issues that runs in his family. As Castrovince explains at greater length, Martinez lost his father to a heart attack at a young age, which only serves as further motivation for him to spend as much time with his own children as possible.
“Honestly? I’m ready,” the longtime Tigers slugger tells Castrovince. “…I know I left everything in this game. I think the biggest problem for athletes is they don’t know what to do after baseball. That won’t be my problem.”
More from the division…
- The Royals assigned minor league signee Clay Buchholz to Double-A after he showed well in extended Spring Training, tweets MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. Buchholz, who missed nearly all of the 2017 season following surgery to repair a flexor tear in his right forearm, tossed 4 2/3 shutout innings with one hit, two walks and five strikeouts in the first of what should be multiple rehab outings. Flanagan reminds that Buchholz has a May 1 opt-out date in his deal, however, so Kansas City could have to make a call on the longtime Red Sox righty before too long. With Nate Karns on the disabled list and Eric Skoglund struggling through his first two starts, there does appear to be room to fit Buchholz into the mix in Kansas City.
- The White Sox announced that top prospect Eloy Jimenez has recovered from the pectoral strain that sidelined him to open the season, and he’ll head to Double-A Birmingham in place of the recently released Courtney Hawkins. As James Fegan of The Athletic writes, the release of Hawkins makes it all the more likely that Chicago’s 2012 draft will prove to yield little to no value at the big league level. But, the Sox also now boast considerably stronger outfield depth in Class-A Advanced and in Double-A, representing a noted turnaround from recent seasons. Jimenez made an 18-game cameo in Double-A last season but figures to spend a greater chunk of time there, as well as some time in Triple-A, before being moved up to the big league level.
- News on fellow White Sox outfield prospect Ryan Cordell is less encouraging than the Jimenez update; Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago tweeted this week that the 26-year-old Cordell is expected to miss at least eight weeks after suffering a fractured collarbone. Cordell, acquired in the trade that sent Anthony Swarzak to the Brewers last summer, had a monster performance in Spring Training but had gotten off to a slow start in Triple-A Charlotte this year. Injuries have slowed Cordell’s path to the big leagues considerably in recent seasons, but he’s on the 40-man roster and had been viewed as a prospect likely to make his big league debut this season before this latest setback. It’s possible, of course, that Cordell recovers and appears for the ChiSox later this season.