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Brad Ausmus wants Victor Martinez catching again

Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander, right, hugs designated hitter Victor Martinez in the dugout after Martinez’s grand slam off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Tony Sipp in the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

AP

Victor Martinez missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury and caught only three times all of last season, but two years after his last regular game action behind the plate he’s putting on the gear again this spring.

Tom Gage of the Detroit News writes that new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus called Martinez during the offseason to tell him to be ready for some catching duties and according to Ausmus “he was thrilled with it.”

Alex Avila remains the Tigers’ starting catcher and the vast majority of Martinez’s action will no doubt still come as a designated hitter, but Ausmus specifically cited interleague games in NL parks as a reason for Martinez to get back behind the plate at age 35.

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