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Dodgers activate J.D. Martinez after missing 15 games with lower back tightness

Michael Busch was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday

MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers activated designated hitter J.D. Martinez off the injured list Friday after missing 15 games with lower back tightness. On Thursday, Michael Busch was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Martinez this season is hitting .250/.306/.534 with a 122 wRC+, four home runs, nine doubles, and two triples, driving in 15 runs. He suffered the injury April 23 when the Dodgers were at Wrigley Field, but tried to play through it.

“Honestly, I was just being dumb, trying to be a hero. Trying to weather it out,” Martinez said on April 28, the day he was placed on the injured list. “I should have spoken up sooner, it probably would have saved me.”

While the Dodgers were in Milwaukee, Martinez was at Camelback Ranch in Arizona facing live pitching, in lieu of a minor league rehab assignment.

Martinez started the first 23 games of the season at designated hitter, but with him on the shelf the Dodgers spread around time at the position. Will Smith was eased back in from his own injured list stint with a pair of DH starts and started four games at the position over the last three weeks. Max Muncy played two games at DH while dealing with flu-like symptoms in San Diego and Milwaukee. Jason Heyward and David Peralta started three times each at DH, and rookies Miguel Vargas, James Outman, and Busch started once each there.

Busch was optioned to Triple-A to make room on the active roster for Martinez. In his first major league stint, Busch played in seven of the 15 games for which he was active, starting five times. He had an RBI single in his major league debut on April 25 in Pittsburgh, and singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning of Sunday’s win in San Diego.

Overall, Busch had four singles in 19 at-bats with four walks and nine strikeouts, hitting .211/.348/.211 in his first taste of the big leagues.