Alex Cora Shares Plan For J.D. Martinez Ahead Of ALDS Against Rays

Martinez is available for Game 1

by abournenesn

Oct 7, 2021

J.D. Martinez didn’t make the Boston Red Sox roster for the American League Division Series just so he could be a cheerleader.

Martinez, who sprained his ankle after tripping over second base Sunday, sat out Tuesday’s Wild Card Game but landed on the roster for the best-of-five ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays.

While he didn’t crack the starting lineup for Thursday’s Game 1, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had a positive update on the slugger.

“He’s available tonight,” Cora said during a press conference before Thursday’s game. “Obviously four at-bats probably is going to be hard, but he’ll keep getting treatment. He’s going to hit outside. If we need him in a big spot, in a situation that we feel is the right one, not only because of his bat but because of where he’s at physically, we’ll use him.”

That seems like the best case scenario. Sure, it would be ideal to have Martinez’s bat come around three, four or more times in a playoff game. But the Red Sox proved they could do it without him against the Yankees, and having him available if necessary is a pretty good consolation prize.

Plus, Martinez has also proven pretty valuable on the bench. Cora assigned him the duty of assistant hitting coach while he was unavailable during Tuesday’s game, and it seems it worked out pretty well in a 6-2 victory.

Red Sox-Rays is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET, but you can watch pregame and postgame on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images
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