In his 1960 essay on Ted Williams, John Updike touched on how Williams always could hit after he'd had a long absence, either for military service or because of an injury:

"... yet he always came back, and always looked like himself. The delicate mechanism of timing and power seemed locked, shockproof, in some case, outside his body."

Other top hitters also have shown themselves shockproof to a long absence, and Victor Martinez appears to be the latest.

After missing last season, Martinez has hit the ball hard in the Tigers' three exhibition games.

Sunday was his best day. First time up, he hit a home run to centerfield off Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, who has been so good for so long that he has been his team's Opening Day starter every year since 2003, the year Martinez came to the major leagues to stay.

The most impressive part of the homer was that Martinez hit it left-handed. The switch-hitter said when he bats left-handed, he puts 75% of his weight on his back leg -- the one he injured and the one that sidelined him last season after knee surgery.

"I'm not really thinking about the knee anymore -- I think that's a pretty good sign," Martinez said after Sunday's 3-for-3. "I'm in camp like I'm used to, just doing my stuff to be ready for the season. That's a great sign."

On his second at-bat, he pulled a sharp single to rightfield off nonroster right-hander J.C. Ramirez.