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Diamondbacks scratch RF J.D. Martinez with left neck stiffness

Arizona Diamondbacks' J.D. Martinez, second from left, runs to first as he hits a two-run home run as Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill, left, watches along with catcher Austin Barnes, second from right, and home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez run during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Arizona Diamondbacks scratched J.D. Martinez from Friday’s lineup against the San Francisco Giants with left neck stiffness.

Martinez, originally in right field and hitting fifth, was replaced by David Peralta, who moved from left to right field from the original lineup and had Gregor Blanco take his place in left. Blanco was moved into the two-hole, replacing shortstop Ketel Marte who was bumped down to sixth in the order.

Martinez has been an amazing midseason pickup for the D-backs. The 30-year-old has hit 23 home runs and 49 RBI in 49 games. Martinez hitting at that pace for an entire season would have resulted in a total of 76 home runs.

There was speculation that Martinez would be a rental for Arizona based on a presumed high price tag when his contract expires this offseason, but there might be some reason for optimism.

ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote that free agents that center their game around power will be disappointed this offseason. He called Martinz a “fascinating test case,” as while his power numbers are very good, he also does not do well in defensive metrics and strikes out quite frequently.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman listed the D-backs and Giants as the two “best guesses” for signing Martinez in his list of the top-25 free agents and said the D-backs are expected to try and bring him back.

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