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Russell Martin Still Wants To Play


According to MLB reports, Dodger’s veteran catcher Russell Martin wants to continue playing in 2020. The Dodgers acquired the experienced backstop from the Blue Jay’s via trade last winter. He was finishing off the final season of a five year contract.

The Dodgers were in need of an experienced catcher after they refused to pay Yasmani Grandal who left for the Brewers in free agency. The club had only rookie and or incompetent catchers on the roster (Will Smith, Barnes) and needed Martin to provide mentorship and clubhouse presence. Anything he provided on offense would be icing on the cake.

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While Martin did justify his years of catching experience with solid defense and wisdom, he posted the worst offensive numbers of his career.

Martin batted just .220, hit 6 home runs and drove in only 20 runs in just 249 plate appearances. His 79 OPS+ is the lowest of his mlb career. Honestly he was pretty punchless. Although Austin Barnes was far worse. Martin can still get on base though (.337 obp, 30 walks)

The 2019 highlight of his second stint with the Dodgers came in game 3 of the NLDS against Washington in which he spearheaded the game winning rally. In that game he hit a home run, doubled and drove in 4 runs. On second thought, his highlight may have been his 4 scoreless innings he pitched in relief during garbage time. He may not be able to hit much anymore but he’s still useful to have around and I would not mind if he returned again in a part time/coaching role.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

9 thoughts on “Russell Martin Still Wants To Play

  1. “…Part time./coaching role”? Does anyone get to do that anymore?

    Yeah, I’d be all for it. I’m certain he knows his offense is nearly gone but he REALLY wants to finish with a ring so I’m guessing he’d take almost any role. Better than NO veteran catcher on the roster.

    I also guess Barnes (if he’s still on the team in Spring) will be busting ass to try improving his offense. That may work or make it worse. If worse, I suspect his major league career will end soon. Too bad because he’s a nice guy.

  2. Both are excellent receivers and play defense well. 2 years ago Barnes had a decent offensive season, but he has really regressed. It was so bad last year that he was sent down. But the Dodgers need a seasoned backup to Smith. Ruiz might be ready by mid season and he might not. I would go with Martin, because even though his bat is not what it once was, he has a much more disciplined approach at the plate than Barnes. I honestly believe that Barnes will be non tendered. Larry Rothschild landed a new job with the Padres.

  3. My opinion is that the Blue should sign Martin and D’arnaud for depth at the catcher position.

    Martin was limited at catcher last year.

    Question. Does anyone think that the number of pitchers on the roster should go down with the new bullpen sub rule? They had been carrying 13 pitchers most times. Can that go down to 11? How would the position players stack up? 3 catchers? 2 utility players. An actual pinch runner?

    1. With the way that baseball has gone regarding what to expect from starting pitching (4 or 5 innings per start) can any team really afford to reduce the pitching staff? It is getting to the point that teams may start carrying 14 pitchers, yikes what the hell has happened to the game?

      Pinch runner, those days are over, I can’t see a team using a roster spot for a runner specialist, hell they don’t even steal bases very much anymore, yikes what the hell has happened to the game?

      Now you can’t use a pitcher for just getting one batter anymore, what the hell has happened to the game?

      What will be next, adding the MLB equivalent to the NBA’s three point line. For HRs hit more than 400 ft the homerun is worth 1.5 runs? Don’t laugh, with the emphasis on hitting HRs I wouldn’t be surprised to see baseball invoke such an stupid tweak. What the hell has happened to the game?

      1. True Blue, good post here and what has happened to this game is those involved in the decision processes and rule adjustments have changed the way this game is played today from the way it was played 10 to 15 years ago. As far as the 3 batter minimum for relief pitchers, they can come in the game and with facing only 1 batter can finish that inning. Then if that’s the case , he doesn’t have to go back out in the following inning if in fact his spot in the batting order came up in the previous half inning. Means we won’t have to see a relief pitcher having to take an AB just so he can face 2 more batters.

    2. Mexivin, as I understand it it there is a limit of 13 pitchers to be on the 26 man roster, which leaves 13 position players, and that at the very least would keep inept managers like Roberts from using his short bench up by the 7th inning with all his switches for L-R-L-R

  4. Good stuff all around. Some nuggets to think about there, for sure.

    At the very least the new rules will help with the issues of running out of players and being scared to make subs. Both are result of the current short bench makeup of the team.

  5. Bellinger earns the Silver Slugger Award for his first half contribution, but he definitely won the Tin Foil Sluggard Award for his postseason contribution (yet again). Wow, baseball over the entire league is very very weak and the Silver Slugger Award can be earned over all the weak pitching. What in the hell has happened to this game?

    It is time to revamp the replay challenge rules. It is time to change the strike zone calls over to the computers, the humans are beyond atrocious, to the point of ruining the whole thing. What in the hell has happened to this game? Or if we are not ready for the computers then the MLB has to do some serious review of the umps and hold them accountable and thus throw some umps out of the league.

  6. 2019 Rams = 2019 Post Season Dodgers

    What a Clusterfug

    Rams went into the season with a marginal at best offensive line, a few injuries later HOLY SCHNICKEES!

    They are almost as hard to watch as the PS Dodgers

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