Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez has been left off the playoff roster for Tuesday’s American League Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
Martinez still is dealing with a sprained left ankle suffered in the fifth inning of Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Washington Nationals. He tripped over the second-base bag while jogging out to right field.
With Martinez sidelined, Boston will likely start Kyle Schwarber at DH rather than left field or first base. That would leave Bobby Dalbec at first, Christian Arroyo at second, Alex Verdugo in left field and Kike Hernandez in center field.
Martinez had a bounce-back season after a down year during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. The 34-year-old finished the regular season hitting .286/.349/.518 with 28 home runs, 99 RBI and a league-leading 42 doubles.
Martinez being sidelined is also unfortunate for the Red Sox because he has faced New York’s starting pitcher, Gerrit Cole, more than any other Boston player. He is 6-for-28 (.214) with two home runs and six walks in 35 career plate appearances against Cole, including the playoffs.
The Red Sox and Yankees have met in the postseason several times. However, Boston won the most recent series in the 2018 ALDS, the same year the franchise won the World Series.