Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers placing J.D. Martinez on the 10-day injured list, manager Dave Roberts hoped the veteran slugger would only miss the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
However, Martinez did not return the next night and the back trouble kept him out for the series finale at PNC Park as well. The Dodgers ultimately made the roster move April 28, but backdated it to April 25.
That left Martinez on track to be eligible to return for the San Diego Padres series last weekend. There was not enough progress made for that to come to fruition, but Martinez did start to make notable strides by taking swings and running.
Roberts initially projected Martinez could be activated for the final two games of the road trip, but he missed the Milwaukee Brewers series and a target return has been set for the weekend, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:
Manager Dave Roberts said the plan is for Martinez to come off the 10-day injured list on Friday, when the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Padres.
Considering Martinez hasn’t played since April 23, it stood to reason a rehab assignment would be beneficial before the designated hitter is activated. But that was not a path the Dodgers viewed as necessary.
“That’s going to be more him and the training staff to figure out,” Roberts said over the weekend. “Whether it’s a rehab or whether it’s bringing in a pitcher to take at-bats against or something like that. He’s going to need some live at-bats, for sure.”
Martinez is batting .250/.309/.512 with nine doubles, two triples, three home runs, 14 RBI and a 120 wRC+ in 92 plate appearances across 23 games this season.
The 35-year-old has dealt with back trouble throughout his career, but the Dodgers are hopeful the latest instance is not related or will linger.
J.D. Martinez regrets not disclosing back pain
Martinez first felt the lower back pain when running out of batter’s box during the series finale against the Chicago Cubs. He remained in the game and even managed to muster a home run off Marcus Stroman, but expressed some regret over continuing to play due to the ultimate outcome.
“I probably should have said something, but didn’t. Honestly, I was just being dumb, trying to be a hero, tried to weather it out,” Martinez recently said. “I should have spoken up sooner. It probably would’ve saved me, but it’s one of those things where I irritated it, and now I have to wait until it calms down.”
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