J.D. Martinez suffering from back tightness in setback to joining Mets

ATLANTA — J.D. Martinez’s debut with the Mets won’t occur this week, and even the next homestand appears questionable as he deals with lower-back tightness.

The veteran DH — who has been building up at-bats in the minor leagues after a stint in extended spring training — received a cortisone shot Tuesday for the tightness, according to manager Carlos Mendoza, and won’t swing a bat for at least three to five days.

Martinez, 36, has a history of lower-back discomfort, Mendoza said, and wanted to get ahead of the situation by receiving the shot.


It's going to take a little longer for J.D. Martinez to finally join the Mets.
It’s going to take a little longer for J.D. Martinez to finally join the Mets. AP

“This is something he’s dealt with the past few years, and he felt it again,” Mendoza said before the Mets faced the Braves at Truist Park. “Look, this guy has almost 80 at-bats through two weeks. I don’t think any position player, when they report to spring training, goes through that quick of a ramp up.”

Martinez arrived to the Mets on a one-year contract worth $12 million just before spring training concluded.

He agreed to let the Mets option him to the minor leagues so he could build up for the season.

After appearing in two games for Low-A St. Lucie last weekend, he was given two days off with what was termed “overall body soreness.”


Martinez's potential Mets debut has been pushed back.
Martinez’s potential Mets debut has been pushed back. Getty Images

Mendoza said Martinez told him he received a cortisone shot last April for lower-back discomfort, and it was a “game changer” for him.

Martinez appeared in 113 games last season for the Dodgers and produced an .893 OPS with 33 homers.

After Martinez resumes his spring workouts, he will still need to receive at-bats in the minor leagues, according to Mendoza, before he can become a consideration for the Mets lineup.


Francisco Alvarez was “beat up” and received a day off following a lengthy game behind the plate on Monday.

Omar Narvaez received the start at catcher for the second time in the past four games.


The Mets traded reliever Michael Tonkin to the Twins for cash considerations.

The right-hander was designated for assignment by the Mets last week.


Kodai Senga has been throwing changeups at low intensity on flat ground, according to Mendoza, but still hasn’t returned to mound sessions.

The right-hander is rehabbing from a right shoulder strain that forced him to open the season on the injured list.

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