Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Yankee Destroyer?

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding my The Better Choice post, in which I point out that Russell Martin is superior to Chris Stewart. Some people have taken it to mean I believe Martin is good. I don't.

As for his defense, I think he's a fine catcher. Not "good" or "great", but "fine". I mean, the guy's not Jorge Posada back there, but he's not Jose Molina either. So far this season he's tied for 1st in MLB Fielding Percentage, at .997. His caught stealing percentage is only 14th in MLB at 25.9%, which is below average for qualified catchers, but keep in mind that his mark is still 28 points higher than the aforementioned Jose Molina. I'd like to see somebody a bit better defensively back there, but I don't think he creates a merry-go-round on the base-paths due to stolen bases.

No matter what, though, Jorge is still awesome.

When it comes to hitting Russell Martin definitely falls in the "not good" category. His wOBA is .308, which is 10th in MLB out of 14 qualified catchers. That includes the lowest batting average, and second-lowest slugging percentage. But, for starters, out of the nine catchers ahead of him in wOBA, six of them hit 6th in their team's batting lineup or higher. And, like I said in that Better Choice post, Martin bats 8th in the Yankee lineup (when the team is healthy). Unlike Joe Mauer who bats 3rd in the Twins' lineup, Carlos Santana who bats 4th in the Indians' lineup, or Matt Wieters who bats 5th in the Orioles' lineup, Russell is not leaned on to manufacture runs for the Yankees. That's not to say Martin never bats in key situations, or doesn't ever kill rallies, but the Yankees can score plenty of runs in spite of him.

By the way, I'm aware of his game-tying 2-run double in last night's game.

Yeah, I'm going to need you to do more than that.

I have no problem with the Yankees exploring other catchers in the trade market, or looking to replace Russell for 2013. But as of right now he's not the Yankee Destroyer from within that some fans make him out to be.

Napoli may be a free agent next year, but I doubt the Rangers will deal him. :(

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)