April 2, 2011

Russell Martin shows value on Opening Day

The catcher position is underrated. Jorge Posada held down the position for the past 15 years, and even though he didn’t provide the best defense, he still had a great feel for all pitchers’ repertoires. The Yankees were well aware of their young catchers in the farm system before signing Russell Martin. They also understood how important he’d be.

Stability is a necessity at catcher. Martin brings that to the table.

On Opening Day, he made an excellent first impression: 1-for-3, 2 R, SB and no mistakes on defense.

Not only does Martin have to learn the Yankees’ pitchers, but he also has to study every single American League hitter. This is his first year in the AL after playing five straight seasons with the Dodgers. Joba Chamberlain already lauded Martin’s work ethic.

“He’s done a great job knowing the hitters,” Chamberlain said. “It’s easy throwing to guy who works that hard behind the plate.”

As a former pitcher, I can appreciate Joba’s comment. When you’re on the same page with your catcher, pitching becomes that much easier.

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