Victor Martinez is set to start at catcher for the first time in two years, and he could hardly contain his excitement.
Martinez was penciled in behind the plate for the Detroit Tigers against the New York Mets in the opener of their interleague series Friday night at Citi Field.
With no designated hitter allowed in the National League ballpark, Tigers manager Jim Leyland put Martinez at his old position to keep his bat in the lineup.
The two discussed the plan about a week ago, and Martinez prepared by catching bullpens and throwing to bases in practice.
The 34-year-old Martinez came up as a catcher with Cleveland in 2002 and had caught 853 games in the majors - none since Aug. 4, 2011, according to STATS. The switch-hitting slugger had left knee surgery in January 2012 that sidelined him for all of last season.