Thursday, May 3, 2012


Since Russell Martin joined the Yankees for the 2011 season, he has had varied measures of success.  If you recall, he had a bad hip that had to heal in the offseason and he started very well for us. This year so far, he has not performed as well as we are used to.  The numbers below are for April of each year in pinstripes.

As you can see, his April numbers this year do not match what he did last year.  But remember, Russell started out hot last year and then cooled off the rest of the year.  His slash line for all of 2011 was .237/.324/.408 which is somewhere north of this year’s start but still south of last year’s start.

My point is that Russell’s bat is a bonus at his position.  He is an above average defensive catcher. His caught stealing percentage is frequently above the league average.  He calls a very good game and communicates well with his pitchers. His fierce determination is a great motivator and is also a quality in the long tradition of gritty hard working Yankee catchers.

During the off season, the Yankees tried to negotiate with Russell to extend his contract.  They dangled $20M for 3 years in front of him but he did not bite. That deal may not have sounded good to him but if his hitting does not improve this season, the team might not consider going that high at the end of the season.  Plus the team has the added burden of wanting to stay below $189M in payroll for 2014.  If they really want to do that, they have some serious math to figure out.  Robinson Cano & Curtis Granderson are the likely top priorities as they should be.  Russell might already be gone by then.

Overall the Yankees hitting is feast or famine this year. We just dropped 2 to the O’s with nary a runner past first base in the second loss.  If Russell the Muscle and his pinstriped brethren want to be better than 4th best in the AL East, they better wake the bats up soon.  And don’t get me started on the starting pitching.  That’s another saga for another time.  Good night Yankee fans.

--Joseph Saucedo, BYB Guest Writer

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