Now Commenting On:

Martinez arrives to camp early, ready to catch if asked

Martinez arrives to camp early, ready to catch if asked play video for Martinez arrives to camp early, ready to catch if asked

LAKELAND, Fla. -- If there was any doubt that Victor Martinez still considers himself a catcher, at least part-time, the sight of Detroit's likely cleanup hitter walking into the Tigers' clubhouse Thursday morning and unpacking new catching gear might well have erased it.

Tigers pitchers and catchers officially begin workouts Friday. Other Tigers position players aren't due in until full-squad workouts begin Tuesday. That seemingly would include Martinez, who's slated to serve as Detroit's regular designated hitter. His surgically repaired knees don't lend themselves toward catching on a regular basis anymore.

Martinez, though, played three games behind the plate last season, even though he didn't catch at all in Spring Training. Two of those starts happened in an Interleague series against the Mets, keeping his hot bat in the lineup in games when Detroit didn't have the DH slot available.

Martinez didn't catch at all last spring while working his way back into game condition following a lost 2012 season. He might not catch this spring, either, but he wants to be ready.

"Like I've said, I'm ready to do whatever they need me to do," Martinez said.

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.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español