Dodgers Injury Update: Dave Roberts Hopes J.D. Martinez Makes Quick Return To Lineup

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez once was one of the most feared hitters in Major League Baseball — winning both the Silver Slugger and the Hank Aaron Award during the Boston Red Sox’s 2018 World Series championship season.

Martinez became the only player to win the Silver Slugger Award twice, at two different positions, in a single season. He signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers in the offseason to become their full-time DH in what represented a change in the club’s strategy.

While he’s not having a peak-career season so far, the veteran still has managed to produce. But, a problem that’s plagued Martinez at various points in his career has surfaced again.

Martinez was not in the Dodgers lineup for the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates because of back discomfort, and Roberts was hopeful for a return Wednesday, via via SportsNet LA:

“J.D., [Monday] had a little something with that last game in Chicago, with his back. Just felt to give him an extra day will be beneficial. Hope to get him back in there [Wednesday].”

When asked if the Dodgers were concerned about the injury Roberts said it’s not yet to that point:

“Not right now. I think it’s something he’s dealt with throughout his career, but right now it’s pretty minimal.”

Martinez wound up not being included in the Dodgers lineup for the second game of their series. The five-time All-Star had a decent 2022 season, batting .274 /.341 /.448 with a career-high 43 doubles but a regression in home runs — 16.

As of late, Martinez has shown some inconsistency at the plate, particularly in strikeout and walk rates.

While Martinez has slumped in some categories, his slugging, however, has improved so far by 100 points.

Martinez is batting an overall .250/.309/.512 with nine doubles, two triples, three home runs and 14 RBI in 92 plate appearances across 23 games this season.

J.D. Martinez disappointed with ‘inconsistent’ start

After struggling during Spring Training and getting off to a slow start in the regular season, Martinez has been swinging better recently but isn’t pleased.

“Inconsistent. It’s pretty much the one word I can summarize it,” Martinez said of his performance so far. “I’m not usually that inconsistent, or I haven’t been. I take pride in being a complete hitter, being a consistent hitter. I’ve taken pride in that my whole career.

“So something that, knowing me, and anyone that knows me, knows that I’m not going to settle for that. I’m going to bust my butt and do everything I got to do to be the player I know I can be.”

Martinez did add he’s feeling more comfortable and that in turn should lead to improved results.

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