J.D. Martinez unlikely to join Mets on West Coast trip, debut expected ‘shortly’ after

J.D. Martinez’s Mets debut will likely be delayed by at least a week.

On Tuesday, ahead of the game against the Pirates, team president David Stearns gave the first update on the designated hitter, explaining that Martinez is not expected to be ready for the West Coast trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco. .

“You can’t think about that when you’re traveling. I’m expecting right after that,” Stearns said.

Coach Carlos Mendoza added: “He swung the bat yesterday. He’s going to continue to swing the bat today. Cage, tee, toss, etc. But one thing I can tell you is where is he and we’re going to the West Coast. [Wednesday] After the game, it is highly unlikely that he will join the team for this trip. ”

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This is the second time the 36-year-old Martinez has been said to be nearing the end of his plate appearances in the minors.

He joined the Mets on trips to Cincinnati and Atlanta and was expected to be ready for the April 8 game against the Braves after spending 10 days off the minor league roster as part of a spring training rush. However, he felt lower back pain and pain throughout his body, so he refrained from competing.

Instead, the player, who was added late in spring training, received a cortisone injection on April 9 to overcome the discomfort, which was found to be effective during his time with the Dodgers last season.

“We talked a lot with his agents, and I think J.D. did a really great job of getting in shape during the downtime before signing,” Stearns said in signing Martinez. about how much he knew Martinez was ready. “I think as he progressed, he encountered the same level of back stiffness that plagued him at several different points in his career, and the way the Dodgers treated it last year, We felt pretty confident that we really helped him through it.”So we decided to treat it the same way. ”

Stearns added that he doesn’t think Martinez needs to show anything in particular to join the team, but rather that it will be based on whether he feels physically ready.

Mets Director of Baseball Operations David Stearns
Mets Director of Baseball Operations David Stearns Corey Shipkin of the New York Post

Martinez, who hit .271 with an .893 OPS last season, agreed to a one-year contract worth $12 million just before the end of spring training. The Mets’ offense has been hoping to benefit from his bat since the beginning of the month.

Asked if he was surprised it took so long, Stearns said: “I don’t know.” “I don’t think there was a clear deadline. If he had had back stiffness like this, I certainly think he would have been here already. So his back stiffness probably caused this. I guess it was a little late.”