For the next four to six weeks, the Detroit Tigers will be without All-Star outfielder J.D. Martinez, who fractured his right elbow in Thursday’s game against the Kansas City Royals and was placed on the disabled list. The Tigers have recalled outfielder Steven Moya to occupy Martinez’s vacated spot on the active roster.
Martinez sustained the injury in the second inning of the Tigers’ 10-4 win when he smacked the wall in the right-field corner at Kauffman Stadium while attempting to catch a ball off the bat of the Royals’ Paulo Orlando. Martinez was able to remain on his feet, but he was in obvious pain as he tried to throw the ball back to the infield and awaited assistance from Detroit’s staff. Members of the Tigers’ training staff and manager Brad Ausmus escorted Martinez off of the field.
Shortly after departing the game, Martinez had some X-rays taken that revealed a non-displaced break of his radial head, the part of the radius bone nearest to the elbow. The radius is located on the right side of the forearm and serves as the site of attachment for several major muscles in the arm, including the supinator and biceps. To confirm the fracture, Martinez will have a CT scan on Friday.
Moya has spent most of the 2016 season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. While with the Mud Hens, the left-handed-hitting Moya slashed .298/.326/.571 with 38 RBIs and 28 extra-base hits, including 13 home runs, 13 doubles, and two triples. From May 12 until May 28, Moya played with the Tigers at the major-league level and batted .281 in 32 at-bats.
Andrew Romine, who replaced Martinez in the game on Thursday, is in line to receive playing time along with Moya in the wake of Martinez’s injury. Romine is one of Detroit’s most versatile defenders and has appeared at all but three positions this year.
In 64 games for the Tigers prior to the injury, Martinez managed a batting average of .287 with 39 RBIs, 12 homers, and a team-high 19 doubles.