The Detroit Tigers haven’t been themselves offensively. Sure, they still possess one of the deepest lineups in the league, not to mention the game’s best hitter (Miguel Cabrera), but the team hasn’t shown the offensive firepower that has been a hallmark of years past.
A lot of this has to do with Victor Martinez struggles. Not that its V-Mart’s fault, but he hasn’t been himself since offseason surgery. The Tigers haven’t been themselves either. They entered Sunday with the Majors’ 12th best offense in terms of runs scored. Not a particularly bad distinction, but it looks worse when as a team, the Tigers have consistently been one of baseball’s best offensive units in seasons past.
To give you an idea of how Martinez hasn’t been himself, here are two different players.
Player A: Two home runs, 22 RBI, .321 OBP, .319 slugging percentage.
Player B: One home run, 19 RBI, .330 OBP, .383 slugging percentage.
Player A is Martinez. Player B is Ben Revere, a player with three career home runs and little power (extra base hits included).
Never the most prolific power hitter, Martinez only has the two home runs this season. Still, his other numbers are more troubling. The Tigers DH’s .243 batting average and .321 on-base percentage are a far cry from his statistical output from last season when he lead the league in on-bae percentage and finished second in MVP voting.
However, things seem to be turning around for Martinez, and this can only mean good things for the Tigers.
In eight games since returning from injury, Martinez is hitting a very characteristic .333 with seven RBI (including one home run). During that span, he has collected three hits on two occasions, while chipping in with two during another game.
In his first 34, pre-injury games, V-Mart put up seven multi-hit games. In eight games since returning, he already has three.
Martinez’ hot streak doesn’t necessarily mean he’s back to his old self, his on-base and slugging percentages over the tear aren’t close to his usual numbers, but the hot streak can only be positive for the Tigers as they look to catapult themselves back into the American League Central race.