Cleveland Indians outfielder Leonys Martin will not play again in 2018 as he continues recovering from a life-threatening bacterial infection, the team announced Wednesday.
Martin was released from the hospital over the weekend after successfully fighting off the infection, but training for a return this season would be too much for his body to handle in the aftermath of his harrowing situation.
“While his prognosis remains positive for a full recovery, he will not be permitted to train at intensity levels to enable a return this season,” the Indians announcement stated.
“The news is really good, manager Terry Francona said Wednesday night. “I mean, he is doing fantastic. But he’s not going to play baseball this year. We just wanted to share it, because the guys ask all the time. We just want to keep them abreast of what’s going on. But overall, he’s done so well. We’re so thrilled that he’s OK.
“I think he wanted to play. But I think the doctors just thought that with what happened he needs some time to let his body heal and we fully support that. Even though we miss him a lot, it’s the right thing to do.”
The Indians acquired Martin from the Detroit Tigers for minor-league infielder Willi Castro in an under-the-radar deal on July 31.
Martin hit .333 with two home runs in six games with the Indians before falling ill after their game on Aug. 7.
Leonys Martin battled for his life
Martin came down with the issue following an Aug. 7 game. A day later, he was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic in critical condition.
Out of respect to Martin’s family, the Indians didn’t provide much information initially. On Aug. 9, he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what the team termed a “non-baseball condition.”
The reality of the situation became more clear when Indians manager Terry Francona called on them to keep Martin in their thoughts.
Doctors are unsure how the bacteria entered Martin’s bloodstream or what bacteria it was that caused the issue. The good news is he was able to fight it off and is on the road to a full recovery. Unfortunately, he just won’t be able to help the Indians again this season.
Leonys Martin’s absence will leave a gap in Cleveland’s outfield
Upon trading for Martin, Cleveland was counting on him to help supplement a thinning outfield that right now only includes Michael Brantley, Brandon Guyer, Melky Cabrera and Greg Allen.
Martin’s ability to play all over the outfield and his effectiveness against right-handed pitching has made him a highly sought after player for contending teams in need of outfield depth. The Chicago Cubs added him for the stretch run in 2017.
The Indians may be forced to dip back into the trade market to find another dependable outfielder. Andrew McCutchen, who was placed on revocable waivers by the San Francisco Giants this week, might be one interesting name to watch.
Martin, 30, will remain under Indians’ control for the 2019 season.
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