Tigers catcher Victor Martinez tears ACL, could miss season

Victor Martinez could miss entire 2012 season
Victor Martinez could miss entire 2012 season

The Tigers could be without designated hitter Victor Martinez for the entire 2012 season, after the team announced Tuesday that Martinez suffered a serious injury to his left knee in offseason training.

Martinez will be reevaluated next week by Dr. Richard Steadman, but the team said the initial finding is that he has a torn ACL, and the expectation is that surgery will be required.

The injury is a huge blow to a Tiger team that is a strong favorite to repeat as American League Central champions. Martinez hit .330 and drove in 103 runs in his first year with the Tigers, providing strong protection in the batting order for Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers originally signed Martinez as a combination catcher and DH, but he became a full-time DH late last season and was expected to fill the same role in 2012. His injury could spur the Tigers to sign one of the remaining DH types on the market. Quite a few remain available, including ex-Tigers Carlos Pena and Johnny Damon, as well as Hideki Matsui.

The Tigers are also among the teams most interested in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. But even if they sign Cespedes, it's not clear he would be ready to contribute immediately.

Posted by Danny Knobler on CBSSports.com