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Monday, February 18, 2013

Russell Martin expects to play shortstop for Canada in World Baseball Classic

Yes, and I expect to play bermudavarius for Guadalupe Plata in some rancid tent at SXSW.

“It’s hilarious, the reactions I get,” Martin told Morosi at the Pirates’ spring training complex on Monday. “It’s like, ‘this guy’s a catcher. He wants to play shortstop.’”

The three-time All-Star has logged 925 games in his seven-year major league career, but none have come as a shortstop. Martin does have experience playing the infield, though. He spent a season in the minors as an everyday third baseman and played 11 games at third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008.

Canada, who has players such as Justin Morneau and Brett Lawrie on its roster, does not have a shortstop with major league experience. Martin said it was his choice to volunteer to play the position.

“I like to prove people wrong,” Martin said. “I’m going to do what I feel like doing. I feel like playing shortstop.”

Martin has already received a shortstop’s glove and has been taking ground balls at his new position.

Repoz Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:16 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   1. Austin Posted: February 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4371642)
Pasta-diving Martin...
   2. Gamingboy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4371644)
Pasta-diving Martin...


What'll really be funny is if he's a better defensive SS than Jeter.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4371646)
As Pirate fans visualize Martin leaving the field on a stretcher....
   4. catomi01 Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4371650)
wouldn't lawrie at short and martin at third (where he actually has some experience as the excerpt says) make more sense?
   5. Gamingboy Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4371652)

wouldn't lawrie at short and martin at third (where he actually has some experience as the excerpt says) make more sense?


Brett Lawrie is getting paid more and is the hope and dreams of Toronto. Martin plays in Pittsburgh.
   6. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: February 18, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4371655)
This makes me happy. I don't know why, and I don't care. It's fun.
   7. Dan Posted: February 19, 2013 at 02:44 AM (#4371687)
If Martin shows that he's capable at SS, do the Pirates consider moving him there? He's probably better than their other options at the position if he can handle it defensively!
   8. Der-K is now fully whelmed! Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4371737)
I'm probably mistaken but: didn't Martin hint that they should have him play short or he might skip the tourney?
   9. Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:25 AM (#4371740)
If Martin shows that he's capable at SS, do the Pirates consider moving him there?
They could have the first ever middle infield made up entirely of guys who are actually catchers.
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4371743)
As Pirate fans visualize Martin leaving the field on a stretcher....


It would serve Neil Huntington right. The Martin contract ranks as one of the biggest wastes of money of the offseason.

-- MWE
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4371744)
So who is playing catcher for Canada? Kottaras? Nickeas?
   12. Der-K is now fully whelmed! Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:36 AM (#4371745)
Chris Robinson?
   13. Dan Lee is a Big Hunk of Neufchâtel Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4371749)
Chris Robinson?
I hope the pitching staff isn't Hard To Handle.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4371761)
It would serve Neil Huntington right. The Martin contract ranks as one of the biggest wastes of money of the offseason.

Wow, that's a huge overbid. Martin is an average to above average (depending on your view of his receiving skills) C getting paid average money.

It's a perfectly cromulent contract.
   15. Der-K is now fully whelmed! Posted: February 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4371774)
Mike thinks Martin's lost it at the plate. (I disagree, but there are signs.)
   16. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4371791)
Well played, #13.
   17. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4371843)
#14--I think part of the issue with the contract was that the Pirates already had a cromulent catcher on their team who was making the minimum (Mike McKenry). The Pirates had a limited amount of money to spend this offseason, and chose to make the extremely marginal upgrade from McKenry to Martin, rather than on the extremely obvious weaknesses they had all year (shortstop, first base, and left field).

So even though Martin's very likely to be worth his contract, that doesn't mean it was a good deal for the Pirates.
   18. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM (#4371849)
I'm probably mistaken but: didn't Martin hint that they should have him play short or he might skip the tourney?

"If I ain't startin', I ain't departin': Operation Shutdown II."
   19. flournoy Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4371876)
Wait, so who launched Operation Shutdown I? Garry Templeton or Derek Bell?
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:19 PM (#4371884)
#14--I think part of the issue with the contract was that the Pirates already had a cromulent catcher on their team who was making the minimum (Mike McKenry).

Shouldn't there be plenty of PT for both?
   21. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4371908)
Shouldn't there be plenty of PT for both?


Of course--McKenry slots in as a backup catcher, and he should be one of the better ones in the league.

Martin and McKenry both project to around a 90 OPS+ this year (I assume). Their opening day lineup is going to have Clint Barmes and Travis Snider in it. There are a lot of Pirates fans who feel that the ~$20MM they spent on Martin would have been a lot better spent on guys like Stephen Drew, Melky Cabrera, Jonny Gomes, etc--positions where the exact same amount of money could have produced a HUGE upgrade in expected performance.

Then, heck drop a million bucks on George Kottaras, and now you have a backup catcher who gets on base and hits left-handed, rather than their current situation, where they have two right-handed guys with the exact same skillset (low OBP, high SLG).
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 19, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4371920)
Martin and McKenry both project to around a 90 OPS+ this year (I assume). Their opening day lineup is going to have Clint Barmes and Travis Snider in it. There are a lot of Pirates fans who feel that the ~$20MM they spent on Martin would have been a lot better spent on guys like Stephen Drew, Melky Cabrera, Jonny Gomes, etc--positions where the exact same amount of money could have produced a HUGE upgrade in expected performance.

Then, heck drop a million bucks on George Kottaras, and now you have a backup catcher who gets on base and hits left-handed, rather than their current situation, where they have two right-handed guys with the exact same skillset (low OBP, high SLG).


Is there any evidence the Pirates were payroll constrained by the Martin deal? Maybe they signed who they could.

Boston and Toronto are much friendlier hitting environments, and higher profile teams, to rebuild value for guys like you mentioned.
   23. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 19, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4372266)
Chris Robinson?
I hope the pitching staff isn't Hard To Handle.

Is this an Otis Redding reference? I don't get it.
   24. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4372286)
Chris Robinson's Black Crowes had a popular cover of the Otis Redding song.
   25. KJOK Posted: February 20, 2013 at 12:48 AM (#4372379)
Wait, so who launched Operation Shutdown I? Garry Templeton or Derek Bell?

That was Derek Bell.
Templeton was the "If I ain't startin' I ain't departin'" comment about the All-star game.

   26. SavoyBG Posted: February 20, 2013 at 01:48 AM (#4372391)
Russell will probably have more range than Jeter.

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