FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after the unveiling came the acclimating.Tuesday was a day for J.D. Martinez to settle in with the Red Sox, get to know his new teammates and go through his first full workout with the team.While Red Sox fans are understandably eager to see Martinez
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A day after the unveiling came the acclimating.
Tuesday was a day for J.D. Martinez to settle in with the Red Sox, get to know his new teammates and go through his first full workout with the team.
While Red Sox fans are understandably eager to see Martinez in the lineup, manager Alex Cora isn't going to rush his right-handed-hitting slugger into his Grapefruit League debut.
Cora said Martinez won't play this week. It is likely he plays at some point next week, perhaps by Tuesday or Wednesday.
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"I feel, health-wise, great," Martinez said. "As far as readiness, [being] game ready, I don't know. Alex kind of left it up to me. I'm kind of leaving it up to the strength coach. We ran today. Start trying to run a little bit more and build up. These guys have been around for two weeks before they got into a game. You can't help it, when you get into a game, you hit a ball, your adrenaline is going to want to take off, so we're just trying to ease in a little bit."
Martinez took batting practice on the main diamond and sprayed line drives from field to field, and put one drive high off the replica Green Monster.
"What a pro," said Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers. "What a professional hitter. Just a couple of conversations so far, but what a wonderful guy. I know he's excited and we're excited to have him. He's very in tuned to his swing. It's business. He's into the process of preparing every single day. First of all, he's detailed and he knows exactly what he's trying to do."
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Martinez spent the offseason getting into good condition, but he had his momentum derailed for a week when he had a series of medical tests to complete his physical and then was holed up in a hotel suite with agent Scott Boras finalizing his contract.
"I was ready and now it feels like, 'Where am I at?' Hopefully I can iron some stuff out," Martinez said. "Right now, it's about controlling the volume because you just want to dive in and do it and go out, but you have to hold yourself back a little bit and increase your volume a little bit."
Due to his late arrival to camp, Martinez is curious to see how long it will take him to find his timing at the plate.
"That's a good question. I don't know. I haven't seen breaking balls. I haven't seen velocity," Martinez said. "You can face a machine, but a machine is not an arm. It's obviously different. It takes time. I'm usually rough during Spring Training. My Spring Training numbers aren't very good, but I never expect them to be. Just kind of finding it, that's what Spring Training is for, to work on stuff and get ready."
Martinez proved that he won't be shy about becoming part of the camaraderie in the clubhouse when he jumped right into a doubles match of ping pong at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday.
"That's the best part, just being around the guys and getting to know the teammates and stuff like that," said Martinez. "You've heard about them, they've heard about you, so just to get an understanding of everyone's personalities. It's cool."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.