HOUSTON -- Facing the possibility of being without outfielder J.D. Martinez for three to five days because of a sprained right knee, the Astros didn't want to leave themselves short handed and placed him on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. Outfielder Fernando Martinez was activated from the disabled list, where he's been all season with a strained oblique.
J.D. Martinez suffered the knee injury in bizarre fashion, collapsing to the ground on a check swing during Friday's win over the Indians. He had started 12 of the team's 16 games and was hitting .244 with two home runs and seven RBIs after hitting a homer in the second inning Friday.
"I'm bummed," he said. "No one ever wants to go on the DL, but I just have to use these 15 days to get healthy, get better."
Fernando Martinez, 24, appeared in 41 games with Houston in 2012, hitting six home runs and driving in 14. He had originally made the club out of Spring Training, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list on March 27 with a strained left oblique. A left-handed bat, he was hitting .111 (2-for-18) during his rehab stint.
"This is a big year for Fernando," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He's out of options and he needs to come up and prove his worth and be able to stay up here. After a strong spring, he was determined to do that. He got injured, but he's 100 percent and will be ready to go, and we certainly could use his left-handed bat in the lineup."
Fernando Martinez played Friday night for Triple-A Oklahoma City and was pulled from the team bus after the game to catch a flight to Houston instead of hitting the road to Albuquerque, N.M. Luhnow believes J.D. Martinez will be ready when his DL stint is up.
"We want to be conservative with it, so four to five days of nothing and then taking some swings and some rehab of some sort, and we think he'll be ready when his 14 days are up," he said.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.