J.D.: No discomfort in foot on botched play

July 8th, 2017

CLEVELAND -- The good news for J.D. Martinez was that his sliding catch Friday night didn't produce any discomfort in his previously sprained right foot. It was the same kind of catch that originally produced the injury back in Spring Training, and it didn't flare up anything in his Lisfranc ligament.

"It's not any particular play or thing," Martinez said Saturday. "It's more the quick turnaround. We had the doubleheader and then the day game. That's when I was feeling it a little bit. But I was able to play and it was fine."

The bad news, of course, was what happened after the catch. While Martinez leisurely threw the ball back into the infield, scrambled back to third base, tagged up and scored.

And as usual, the brutally honest Martinez made no excuses.

"That was my fault," he said. "I just kind of fell asleep on it. It's one of those things where it's easy to get distracted, or fall asleep, when it's getting repetitive. I thought he was going to tag up off the bat. I didn't think he was going to be halfway [to the plate]. That's kind of where he messed up, and then when I slid and I came up and I saw him going back, I was like 'OK.' I threw it and then he went home. It's one of those things where if it was a half a second earlier it would've been a bang-bang play. …

"It is what it is. It happened. Can't happen again."

The game was already in the Indians' control when it happened. It made no difference in the outcome, but it contributed to the bad look of a team that was making fundamental mistakes in an 11-2 loss to the American League Central leaders.

"Outfielders can't assume that the runner is or isn't running. You have to assume that he is and come up firing," manager Brad Ausmus said after the game. 

Martinez has been battling since coming off the disabled list two months ago, though the personal motivation of a contract season can't hurt, either. His .993 OPS entering play Saturday would've netted him AL All-Star consideration had he not missed the first six weeks.

The foot, Martinez said, is no longer an issue for him. He's covering more ground in right field than he was earlier in the season, and he's running the bases aggressively.

"It's a lot better," Martinez said, compared to when he returned from the DL in mid-May. "There are days when I don't even need treatment. I pretty much stopped doing treatment, honestly. It feels good, just one of those things you kind of monitor because it'll get sore again. It's good."

That said, Martinez admits the All-Star break next week will do him some good. As much as he would've liked playing in the All-Star Game in his native South Florida, he's glad to have four days off.

"I think it'll be good just to get off of it, relax and let it heal," Martinez said.