CLEVELAND: It was Victor Martinez's first trip to Progressive Field since he was traded last mid-season to the Red Sox.
With his 5-year-old son, Victor Jr. -- who was carrying a cut-down aluminum bat -- Martinez headed to the indoor batting cages. When they returned, Martinez faced the Cleveland media.
""I'm excited,'' he said. ""Its the first time I'm coming back here, and it's a weird feeling, going to a diffrerent clubhouse,'' he said. left this place, but I will always have me heart in Cleveland. They did send me to one of the greatest teams in baseball.''
Martinez revealed that he will not be staying at the team hotel.
""My very first season, when I was in rookie ball, I played at Mahoning Valley,'' he said, referring to the Tribe's farm team in Niles. ""I'm staying with my host family there.''
Now that Matt LaPorta has been optioned to Columbus, which will allow him to play every day, where will he play?
""He'll play both left field and first base,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""Looking down the road, Michael Brantley will be joining the club (and probably playing left), I think you're looking at Matt at first base. Russell Branyan is here, of course (playing first), but I don't know for how long.''
Acta did not indicate that Mark Grudzielanek will be sidelined for long with a strained hamstring, sustained running to first Sunday in Chicago.
""It's better than it was yesterday,'' the manager said. ""He'll be day-to-day.''