For the first time in 749 days Victor Martinez is starting a game behind the plate at catcher. The Tigers don't want to lose his bat as they open a weekend series on the road against the Mets in Citi Field an NL park with no DH.

"I'm contemplating -- contemplating only -- catching him a game in New York" said manager Jim Leyland to Chris Iott of mLive.com earlier this week.

Martinez 34 last caught a game on August 4 2011. He signed a four-year contract with Detroit prior to 2011 but caught just 26 games for the Tigers that year as Alex Avila emerged. Martinez has served as the team's regular DH with a handful of starts at first base this season.

Although his overall season line sits at a modest .285/.340/.404 (101 OPS+) with 10 homers in 126 games Martinez has hit .356/.410/.470 (150 OPS+) in 33 games since the All-Star break. It's easy to understand why Leyland didn't want to take his bat out of the lineup as the Tigers work towards clinching a playoff spot and the AL Central title.