J.D. Martinez was once again scratched from the Red Sox lineup on Saturday due to back tightness.
After he was slated to start at designated hitter and bat out of the three-hole in Friday’s series opener against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, Martinez was removed from the lineup on account of back spasms shortly before first pitch.
The same thing essentially happened on Saturday, as the veteran slugger was penciled in to DH and bat fifth against White Sox starter Dylan Cease, but was pulled from the lineup by Red Sox manager Alex Cora in favor of Travis Shaw at approximately 6:15 p.m. eastern time.
With Martinez’s removal from Boston’s starting lineup, right fielder Hunter Renfroe moved up from seventh to fifth in the batting order, while first baseman Bobby Dalbec slid into the seven-hole and Shaw — the new designated hitter — was inserted as the Sox’ No. 8 hitter in front of Christian Vazquez.
So far this season, the Red Sox are 72-59 in games Martinez plays in, meaning they are are 8-4 in games he is absent from.
The 34-year-old All-Star came into play Saturday having posted a .286/.349/.517 slash line (128 wRC+) to go along with 37 doubles, three triples, 25 home runs, 89 RBI, 84 runs scored, 50 walks, and 133 strikeouts over 131 games (567 plate appearances) this year.
(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)