J.D. Martinez has been one of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ most effective hitters this season and a force at the plate for the last decade, becoming one of the most feared designated hitters in the game.
Martinez has played 13 years at the Major League level with the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks Boston Red Sox and now Dodgers.
Martinez made his MLB debut with the Astros but did not find much success there, which led to his release. The Tigers signed him for the 2014 season, and Martinez became a completely new hitter.
With the Tigers in town, Martinez has homered three times in two games against his former club, but there wasn’t any extra added motivation behind his at-bats.
“No, no. I love Detroit, can’t say that about Houston — just playing — but Detroit I love,” Martinez said. “But no, Detroit, they were the team that gave me a chance when no one else did. They were the only ones knocking back in 2014 when I was released, so they always have a special place in my heart.
“Seeing all the familiar faces in BP and everything like that and saying hi to all of them. It’s cool.”
Martinez spent four seasons with the Tigers, hitting .300/.361/.551 with 99 home runs and earning one All-Star Game selection before he was traded to the Diamondbacks in 2017.
During three years with the Astros, he hit just .251/.300/.387 with 24 home runs, which is a good reason to not look back fondly on his time in Houston.
Martinez went on to sign with the Red Sox prior to the 2018 season, where he had the best stretch of his career. Martinez was a four-time All-Star in five seasons, batting .292/.363/.526 with 130 home runs.
He signed with the Dodgers this past offseason, and has hit .270/.324/.566 with 29 home runs and 92 RBI in just 102 games. The 36-year-old was also named to his sixth All-Star Game, starting as the National League’s designated hitter.
J.D. Martinez downplayed home runs off Eduardo Rodriguez
On Monday, Martinez blasted two home runs against his former teammate Eduardo Rodriguez, who vetoed a trade to come to the Dodgers prior to the deadline this season.
Martinez and Mookie Betts reached out to Rodriguez about the process and initially didn’t get a response. “No comment,” Martinez quipped when asked if he hit two home runs off Rodriguez because of the snub.
“Everyone makes decisions. Everyone’s got their choices,” Martinez said when asked if he had extra motivation facing Rodriguez. “He texted me and apologized for not texting me back and stuff like that.
“It was a family decision. I get it. He’s got to do what he’s got to do for him. It’s understandable. Obviously we wanted him here, but it is what it is.”
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