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Martinez has shot to address lower-back tightness, further delaying debut with Mets

J.D. Martinez Los Angeles Dodgers J.D. Martinez - The Canadian Press

ATLANTA (AP) — All-Star J.D. Martinez was given a shot on Tuesday to address lower-back tightness that has delayed his debut with the New York Mets.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said he spoke with Martinez, who has been working at the team's facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, after signing a $12 million, one-year contract on March 24. Mendoza said Martinez, 36, experienced similar lower back soreness following spring training last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and added “he's feeling it again.”

“Last year in April he dealt with it, got a shot in April and was back seven days later,” Mendoza said before Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Braves. “He got a shot today. ... He said, ‘Last year I got a shot and I was perfectly fine for the rest of the season.’”

Mendoza said he will wait two or three days to determine “how he responds to treatment” before he knows more about when Martinez can resume his preparations to join the team.

Mendoza said the development with Martinez's back was “nothing too concerning” and added the decision was made “to take care of it right now.”

Mendoza said Sunday he thought Martinez was dealing with overall soreness before learning about the lower back tightness.

Martinez hit .271 with 33 home runs and 103 RBIs in 2023 with the Dodgers and is expected to serve as the Mets' primary designated hitter when healthy. Mendoza has said he expects Martinez to see some playing time in the outfield.

He went 1 for 8 in two rehab games last weekend with Class A St. Lucie.