Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
J.D. Martinez was again scratched from the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Thursday, two days after he returned from a six-game absence because of a lingering groin/adductor injury.
Martinez and the Dodgers aren’t sure what the exact issue is, which has caused frustration all around. However, Martinez did reveal the latest issue that kept him out of the lineup was different than previous cases.
“It wasn’t the same [Thursday] night,” Martinez said. “I could have played but they didn’t want me to.”
The designated hitter did receive an epidural earlier this month, but that did not solve the problem.
“Like I said, they didn’t know what it was,” Martinez noted. “MRIs in my back were actually way better than before when I got my first MRI. They’re like, ‘Wow, your back looks great.’
“But then it’s like it’s got to be the back because what else can it be? They’re like, ‘Let’s just put it in there.’ I was like it’s not going to hurt to do it, there’s no downside to it, so let’s just see.”
Martinez wasn’t sure if the epidural had an affect at all because he feels healthy until the issue flares up. “It’s fine every day, until it ain’t,” Martinez said.
“Walking around and doing everything doesn’t hurt. It’s just I’ll take like one swing in BP. That’s the thing, it’s not even in the game. I think it’s muscular. I don’t think it’s my back at all.”
The 35-year-old did return to the lineup after a one-day absence rather than again missing multiple games, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes is a step in the right direction.
“J.D. is doing what he can,” Roberts said. “It’s an all hands on deck with him and the training staff. So I think it is good that it was a one day situation for him to be back in the lineup.
“Like I said yesterday, it’s still concerning that we just don’t know what it is, what the root problem is. So I think that’s his frustration as well.”
With Martinez returning to the lineup on Friday, he did make an adjustment pregame by changing his stride direction to see if that helps. The issue is primarily isolated to his left leg.
Thus, Martinez has been studying his swing to see if he can notice anything causing the injury because running, jumping and throwing don’t affect it.
“That’s what I was trying to see,” Martinez said. “I was like, ‘Dang, it looks like I’m striding really far and maybe I’m just putting too much pressure on it.’ Because it only hurts in BP. It doesn’t hurt in the game, but I don’t stride far in the game.”
Martinez has also been doing activation exercises, which he joked was about 9,000 of them.
“It’s weird. I don’t know,” Martinez said. “It’s one of those things where if I keep feeling it, it’s almost like take the [expletive] 10-day.
“Because if I really take the time now, I can be ready for the end of September. Obviously it sucks for me personally because I’m on a one year deal and I’m trying to be out there and be healthy and play.”
J.D. Martinez injured list stint possible
With Martinez saying that a 10-day injured list stint may end up being the best course of action, Roberts is still wishing they can avoid that but is now more open to the idea than previously.
“I hope not,” Roberts said. “But he’s trying to change his prep. I think there’s some things that he said that affect what kind of trigger it.
“Yeah, if it gets to the situation where we have to do the IL, we have to do the IL. But obviously, we’re trying to do the best we can. He won’t play that early game, he’ll play the night game. And we’ll just keep kind of going day by day.”
There’s no set number of times Martinez will be scratched from the lineup for the Dodgers to decide on making the IL move, especially with how the club has performed even when they’re short a player.
“Because the late scratch, it is what it is,” Roberts said. “Our guys that replace him, they want to play. It gives them opportunity for at-bats.
“If it’s something that we feel is going to be a couple day or a day thing in this situation, I just don’t think it’s worth conceding nine or 10 days if it’s not needed. But again, this is not an exact science.”
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