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06/02/08 8:12 PM ET
No excuses for Tribe catcher Martinez
Slugger won't blame sore left hamstring for lack of power
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Victor Martinez doesn't want to point to his sore left hamstring as the reason for his lack of power this season. "If you're looking for an excuse, I'm not going to give it to you," Martinez said. "I'm not hitting homers because I'm not hitting homers." Martinez was back behind the plate and bumped up to the No. 3 spot of the lineup for Monday's series opener with the Rangers after sitting Sunday in Kansas City. The strained hamstring he suffered Opening Day has lingered on all year, he said. "It's just uncomfortable," Martinez said. "There's not much I can do about it. I'm just getting treatment." The proper cure would be a significant stretch of rest, but that's not in the cards for Martinez at the moment. The Indians have no intention of placing him on the 15-day disabled list. The hope, then, was that not playing or taking any pregame work Sunday would ease the soreness. Monday's lineup wasn't posted until after Martinez took some early batting practice and felt well enough to play. Martinez said the injury doesn't bother him when he's catching, because catching puts more of a strain on the quadriceps muscles than the hamstrings. "We're lucky it doesn't affect him behind the plate," manager Eric Wedge said. But Wedge has said he believes the hamstring has affected Martinez's ability to drive the ball with consistency this season. Martinez entered Monday's game with a .292 (49-for-168) average and .351 slugging percentage. Only 10 of his hits had gone for extra bases -- all doubles. Martinez has said for weeks that his lack of home runs does not concern him. "If I have zero homers for the whole season, God has something for me," Martinez said. "Whatever He's got for me, I'm going to take it. ... I'm focused on winning the game. I'm not focused on numbers."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.