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Martinez out 6 months after Achilles surgery

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- Michael Martinez was preparing for his fourth consecutive Spring Training as a non-roster invitee with the Indians. Now, the veteran utility man is bracing himself for a long rehab that could require him to miss the upcoming season.

The Indians announced that Martinez underwent surgery on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left leg. Dr. Alan Davis performed the procedure, which comes with a six-month rehabilitation process.

CLEVELAND -- Michael Martinez was preparing for his fourth consecutive Spring Training as a non-roster invitee with the Indians. Now, the veteran utility man is bracing himself for a long rehab that could require him to miss the upcoming season.

The Indians announced that Martinez underwent surgery on Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon in his left leg. Dr. Alan Davis performed the procedure, which comes with a six-month rehabilitation process.

Martinez, 35, signed a Minor League contract on Dec. 11 with Cleveland, which included an invitation to attend Spring Training with the big league club. Martinez made the Tribe's Opening Day roster a year ago as a utility man, but he was likely ticketed for Triple-A Columbus this season. Erik Gonzalez and Giovanny Urshela (both out of Minor League options) will head into the spring as the top candidates for that kind of bench job with the Indians.

Martinez sustained the injury last week during agility drills while training in the Dominican Republic.

In stints with five big league teams in parts of the past seven years, Martinez has hit .194 with a .504 OPS. His 37 OPS+ is tied with Kevin Cash for the fourth-lowest mark since at least 1913 for a non-pitcher with at least 600 career plate appearances. Last year, Martinez hit .162 (.451 OPS) between stops with the Indians and Rays, and even logged one shutout inning on the mound for Cleveland in an April 13 loss to the White Sox.

Martinez, who has been re-acquired or re-signed by the Indians five times in the past three years, also made the final out in the 2016 World Series against the Cubs. Cleveland values Martinez not for his bat, but for his defensive skill and versatility and his ability to be a mentor to younger players. Gonzalez, for example, is among the players to have praised Martinez for his help and guidance while in the Minors.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Michael Martinez