CINCINNATI -- The D-backs snapped a five-game skid with an 11-2 win over the Reds on Tuesday, but they already had cause for celebration before the first pitch, as the news broke that they acquired outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers in exchange for three infield prospects.Well, at least it was
CINCINNATI -- The D-backs snapped a five-game skid with an 11-2 win over the Reds on Tuesday, but they already had cause for celebration before the first pitch, as the news broke that they acquired outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers in exchange for three infield prospects.
Well, at least it was for those who knew about it.
"I didn't find out until after the game actually," D-backs pitcher Robbie Ray said. "My wife texted me and said that we got J.D."
Ray and catcher Chris Herrmann headed out on the field to warm up before the team learned of the trade. But when they did find out, their reaction was the same as the rest of their teammates.
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"I don't know if people were keeping it a secret from me ..." Herrmann said. "But J.D. Martinez, great player, great offensive player. He's going to help out this team tremendously, so I'm sure we all can't wait to meet him and be a part of this team."
Part of the reason for excitement is Martinez's proficiency against lefties, an area the D-backs have struggled with this season. Martinez is 18-for-38 (.474) with six home runs, 11 RBIs and a 1.661 OPS against left-handers this season. Coming into the series with the Reds, Arizona as a team had hit just .223 with a .660 OPS vs. lefties this season.
That skill could come in handy in the D-backs remaining games against the National League West-leading Dodgers, who feature three lefty starters and swept Arizona in the last series between the two teams with three one-run wins.
"We're real excited because we know what he's capable of," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I watched him for several years in the American League and he's a special bat. He's a special offensive player. He brings a lot of confidence when he comes to the plate. So I think he'll fit right in. I'm really excited to get him here, get him moving, get this thing started."
Ray was teammates with Martinez during the outfielder's breakout season with Detroit in 2014, when he hit .315 with 23 home runs after reinventing his swing the previous offseason. Ray saw enough of him to know he's a special player, and he said Martinez will only make an already dangerous D-backs lineup that much better.
"I feel like he's got laser-focus out there," Ray said. "He's got his approach on every pitcher and he just goes out there and executes. I feel like he's really good at using the whole field, just seeing him hitting [opposite-field] homers, pulling balls. He's just all around a really good player."
Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati .