The Dodgers on Tuesday placed designated hitter J.D. Martinez on the injured list with left groin tightness, the culmination of a month-long battle. Michael Busch was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Martinez has dealt with tightness around his groin, hamstring, and/or adductor muscle for about a month, with various stops and starts along the way. He was scratched from the Dodgers lineup four different times, the most recent last Thursday against the Brewers.
The first time Martinez was scratched was July 23 in Texas. Beginning with that game, Martinez has played in 11 of the Dodgers’ last 26 games, starting 10. This does not count July 30 against the Reds, when Martinez technically gets credit for a start at designated hitter even though he was pinch-hit for in his first at-bat because he couldn’t go.
In the last month, Martinez is hitting .194/.275/.361 with seven hits in 36 at-bats, one home run, five RBI, a 49 wRC+ and 15 strikeouts in 42 plate appearances, a 35.7-percent strikeout rate compared to 30.7 percent before. Martinez was hitless in three at-bats with three strikeouts in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Marlins.
Martinez is expected to miss at least two or three weeks, manager Dave Roberts told reporters in Cleveland on Tuesday.
Dave Roberts said J.D. Martinez went on the injured list because he was still “compromised with his swing”— Jack Harris (@ByJackHarris) August 22, 2023
Martinez is in Arizona right now and won’t swing for the next week. Dodgers are hoping he’ll be back in 2-3 weeks, and that this break will finally clear up his injury
This is the second injured list stint this season for Martinez, who missed 15 games in April and May with back tightness.
Busch tore up the Pacific Coast League since last getting optioned on June 27, with 17 home runs in 43 games, hitting .333/.435/.689. He reached base in 39 straight games, the third-longest streak in the PCL this season, a streak that was snapped last Thursday in Salt Lake.
Busch singled home a run in his two at-bats on Sunday in Salt Lake before getting removed from the game on defense in the bottom of the fifth inning for a reason that wasn’t known at the time but is now clear.
In two previous stints in the majors in his rookie year, Busch has nine hits in 45 at-bats, hitting .200/.294/.267 with three doubles, six walks, and 16 strikeouts in 51 plate appearances over 15 games, including 10 starts at third base, one start at second base, and once at DH.
Over the past two weeks with Oklahoma City, Busch split time between third base, second base, and left field, making his first two outfield starts of the season.
The timing of Busch’s call-up suits the left-handed batter well. They face three right-handed starting pitchers in Cleveland, and will likely face two more in three games this weekend in Boston. Next week, the Dodgers are home to face the D-backs, who don’t currently have an active left-handed starting pitcher, and the Braves, with a bunch of right-handers plus left-hander Max Fried.
Busch is starting at designated hitter and batting eighth for the Dodgers on Tuesday night against old friend Noah Syndergaard.