Martinez will look to continue his recent power surge when the Yankees shoot for a fifth straight victory in the finale of their three-game series with the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Martinez, a fixture in New York from 1996-2001, when the Yankees won four World Series in five appearances, has homered in four straight games—the longest streak by a Yankee since Martinez did it himself in 2001.
The veteran first baseman has helped fill the void left by a struggling Giambi, who is hitting .195. Giambi met with manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman before the Yankees beat the Mariners 7-4 on Tuesday, and reports circulated that the troubled slugger would be asked to accept a demotion to the minors.
Cashman refused to confirm the reports, and would not reveal the nature of the meeting.
“I’m not going to go into speculation,” Cashman said. “It makes no sense for me to talk about something like that. If that is an option we want to cover, that is an option we would cover directly with him and him alone.”
Giambi, 34, is hitless in his last 15 at-bats and has just four hits in his last 38. The 2000 AL MVP, trying to rebound from an offseason filled with controversy over steroids, has just three homers and six RBIs. But he does have 18 walks and a .386 on-base percentage.
“I played very well, then over the last couple weeks I’ve struggled, no doubt about it,” Giambi said before the meeting.
Martinez’s two-run shot sparked a five-run third inning Tuesday as New York erased an early 2-0 deficit in getting rookie right-hander Chien-Ming Wang his first career victory. Martinez has eight homers and 18 RBIs in 30 games for the Yankees, who are trying to fight their way out of a dismal 11-19 start.
“It’s a certain sense of security having (Martinez) here, because he’s been here before, the fact that he had a great deal of success here,” Torre said.
Bret Boone had a two-run double Tuesday for the Mariners, who have lost nine of 10.