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J.D. Martinez scratched from Dodgers lineup again, with groin tightness

Martinez has started 8 of the last 23 games

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dodgers designated hitter J.D. Martinez was scratched from the Dodgers lineup for Thursday’s series finale against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium with groin tightness, which has plagued him for nearly a month.

This is the fourth time Martinez has been scratched from the lineup in the Dodgers’ last 23 games, dealing with tightness in his groin and hamstring area. The first came July 23 in Texas, then he was scratched again before batting one week later at home against the Reds, a game for which Martinez is technically credited for starting at DH even though he never batted.

Martinez was also scratched on August 8 against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix, after which he returned to Los Angeles for an MRI and injection. He missed all seven games last week before returning to the lineup for the first two games of this series.

He drove in a run in both games, with one hit, a double, in six at-bats plus a walk and on Wednesday became just the second Dodger to reach twice on catcher’s interference in one game.

Manager Dave Roberts on Tuesday laid out the plan for Martinez this week, but admitted it was tentative based on health.

“I’d love to say he’s good to go. Right now the plan is to run him out there for five in a row, then get him off his feet on Sunday. But that could change depending on how he’s feeling,” Roberts said Tuesday. “Just keeping a watchful eye, and J.D. is very good about being very honest about how he feels.”

Dating back to July 23, Martinez has played in nine of 23 games, starting eight times (not counting the July 30 “start” in which he did not bat) and batted only 36 times, hitting .200/.294/.400 with a 90 wRC+.

The logical question is why haven’t the Dodgers placed Martinez on the injured list, letting him rest in preparation for September and October. But after they willingly played short all week — when they won all seven games, it should be noted — it’s fairly clear that if the Dodgers were going to put Martinez on the IL and call up Michael Busch, for example, they would have done it by now.

There’s no reason to believe otherwise, unless something has changed with Martinez’s injury. I guess we’ll find out after Thursday’s game.