"My knees are doing great, everything's doing great," Martinez said. "Hopefully by the end of the season, I'll be able to get behind the plate for a few games."
In fact, Martinez said, he could catch now in a pinch.
"I mean, I'm pretty healthy," Martinez said. "That's not a concern at all. It's a matter of just getting ready."
It's an interesting outlook for someone who missed last season recovering from knee surgery, but it's something that has been a possibility for a while. Manager Jim Leyland didn't rule it out in Spring Training.
For this series, though, and most likely for the two-game series in Pittsburgh at the end of May, he's a pinch-hitter. It's a role that his approach to the DH spot, keeping himself ready to hit between at-bats by working out in the clubhouse, helps him handle.
Martinez is 11-for-33 with a home run, nine RBIs and 10 walks for his career as a pinch-hitter, but nine of those hits came from 2002 to 2007. He had only one at-bat as a pinch-hitter with the Tigers two years ago, grounding out.
"I think I kind of like how they play the games this series, two days," Martinez said. "Coming off the bench five, seven days, it would be tough."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.