By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — J.D. Martinez was the Red Sox’ big free-agent acquisition of the offseason. But just five games into the season, he’ll be a spectator.

Now that largely has to do with the fact that the Red Sox will be playing in Miami on Monday night, without the benefit of a designated hitter spot in the lineup. But it might also have to do with Martinez not exactly getting off to a blazing start for Boston.

With 17 plate appearances under his belt thus far, Martinez is 3-for-15 (.200) with two walks, one double, one RBI, and five strikeouts. He drove in that run on Sunday, going 1-for-5 on the day. He started the season going 0-for-8 before hitting a double in Saturday’s game.

It’s far too early for anything to be considered a concern, but it does come after Martinez showed little power in spring training, when he hit four doubles, one triple and no home runs in 47 at-bats.

First-time manager Alex Cora knew heading into the year that he’d have to pull a balancing act with his lineup, considering Martinez expressed a desire to play in the outfield often instead of primarily serving as a DH. With Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi penciled in to the top of the everyday lineup, and with Jackie Bradley Jr.’s glove remaining one of the best in baseball, getting Martinez his time in the field figures to be a challenge for Cora.

Thus far in 2018, Martinez has started two games at DH and two games in the outfield. On Monday night in Miami, he’ll be the big bat off the bench. Martinez went 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout as a pinch hitter last season. In his career as a pinch hitter, he’s 8-for-27 (.296) with a double, two home runs, five RBIs, five walks and 11 strikeouts.

Prior to Monday, Martinez was one of just three players — along with Xander Bogaerts and Betts — to start all four games for Boston thus far in the season.

Here’s Boston’s full lineup for Monday night’s game against the surprisingly 2-2 Miami Marlins:

1. Mookie Betts RF
2. Andrew Benintendi LF
3. Hanley Ramirez 1B
4. Rafael Devers 3B
5. Xander Bogaerts SS
6. Eduardo Nunez 2B
7. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
8. Christian Vazquez C
9. Brian Johnson, P

1. Lewis Brinson, CF
2. Derek Dietrich LF
3. Starlin Castro, 2B
4. Brian Anderson, 3B
5. Justin Bour, 1B
6. Cameron Maybin, RF
7. Miguel Rojas, SS
8. Bryan Holaday, C
9. Trevor Richards, P

Richards is making his MLB debut for Miami. The 24-year-old went 12-11 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.034 WHIP in 27 games (25 starts) in high-A and double-A last season.


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