Categorized | Mark Timmons

Can Martin Be Fixed?

Can Martin Be Fixed?

For the past few days, people have been speculating as to what is wrong with Russell Martin, whether he is finished,  why is he so bad, etc., and so I am going weigh in with a couple of things:

  1. Some say it is overuse.  PLEASE!  This guy is in great shape and has played 122, 129, 144, 151 and 155 games over the past 5 years.  He’s 26 – that’s Nothing!  Jason Kendall had a stretch of 7 years where he played 143 to 157 games and was over 150 games 4 times in that span.  Johnny Bench played the following number of games over a ten year span:  154, 148, 158, 149, 147, 152, 160, 152, 135, 142.  Those who castigate Torre and Little for overuse of Martin are out of touch.
  2. Some say he has lost his speed and can’t catch up to a fastball.  RUBBISH!  At 26?  I find that silly – no matter what the stats say.
  3. Some say his partying and lifestyle are part of the problem.  Maybe last year – not this year!
  4. Some say he has a bad attitude and wants to “pull” everything.  Again, he may be hard-headed, but he’s not that hard headed.
  5. Some say that maybe he was on steroids before.  I have to admit, I did pause on that one.  One thing I can say for sure, but can’t quantify is that there is an undercurrent of “knowing” about steroids and a “wink, wink, look the other way” attitude by insiders.  I hope that’s not the case, but who knows these days – everyone is a suspect.martinwalkoff  I discount that with Martin, but that’s just me.
  6. Some have suggested that it is Mattingly’s coaching because Martin’s decline started last near the time Mattingly arrived as hitting coach.  Again, this is not very plausible to me as we have 2 hitting coaches in Mattingly and Pentland.   I think if you are a weak-minded olf, a good coach can help you (witness Andruw Jones), but Russ Martin is a big boy and can make decisions for himself.  I don’t think you suddenly just forget how to hit.  I can’t buy that either.

In 1970, Johnny Bench hit .293 with a .345 OB%.  At this juncture of his career, he was already a star.  The next year (1971) he hit .238 with a .299 OB%.  Was he washed up?  Hardly!  He went on to have some of his best years after that.  Unless Russ Martin has some loathsome disease, he will bounce back – maybe this year, maybe next, but a guy just doesn’t lose it at 26.  By the way, in 1970, Johnny Bench was 23.  Now, Russ Martin is no Johnny Bench offensively, but he is darn good defensively, and that defense, the fact that he is first in all of baseball in throwing out runners, and his handling of the pitching staff, is no small reason why we have the best ERA in baseball and the best record in baseball.  RESPECT RUSS MARTIN!

Martin has been too good for too long that Joe Torre (who knows catchers)  is giving him a lot of rope, and I still say he is one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball.    Yes, when a guy is going bad it is easy to see everything he does that is bad and ignore the good, but in a lot of ways, he is our most important player. 

TRANSACTION:

Our pen just got stronger as the Dodgers recalled James McDonald from Triple-A Albuquerque to be a long reliever and sent right-handed reliever Travis Schlichting to Albuquerque.  What took so long?

TONIGHT’S LINEUP:

Mitch Jones FIRST Major League Start. 

My Man Mitch!

  1. Pierre, LF
  2. Furcal, SS
  3. Hudson, 2B
  4. Blake, 3B
  5. Ethier, RF
  6. Kemp, CF
  7. Loney, 1B
  8. Martin, C
  9. Jones, DH

Billingsley, P

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

38 Responses to “Can Martin Be Fixed?”

  1. CaptainLoose says:

    They have Vlad Guerrero as a DH, we have – Mitch Jones. Advantage?

    Can Martin be fixed? I don't think he is broken. Even if he continues to hit .238, which I don't believe he will, he is a valuable player on this team. Like mover mentioned, this could be an off year, or, he could catch fire and finish where he always does. Many seem very quick in their willingness to throw players off the boat, but I say let the year play out. All Martin needs is a good night to get it turned around and that could happen at any time.

  2. BillRussell says:

    STAY TUNED as NO one really knows the answer except for Russell

  3. BillRussell says:

    I paused for the hard headed and wants to pull everything question.

  4. BillRussell says:

    Why is Jones batting below Martin? Seniority

  5. BillRussell says:

    If it was Andruw, I could see why…..

  6. Ken says:

    He aint broke just a little bent

    1. Overused at times, 5-10 games per year.
    2. He is reacting slower and has lengthed his swing = exponential decrease in ability
    3. His group partying has changed to one on one partying
    4. His swing arc does not allow him to do anything but pull every pitch including pulling that high and inside pitch the other day when he his job was to get the runner over to 3rd
    5. I honestly believe that he has ADD and that the nicotine stimulant calmed him down last year but now his party favor convinced him to quit the Chew.
    6. The accumulation of 1-5 above is the cause of his batting problems.

    His hips are already turned before the picher's motion even starts. He just needs to shorten his swing and keep the torgue in his wrist longer. He has terrible habits just like Kershaw and his follow through which is ok during warm up and falls apart after 2 pitches. They both forget or rebell against what they are being taught. Can't judge a man's motives so someday they will hopefully admit what they are doing and why.

  7. Blue Haze says:

    Still something has to be going on for a guy to completely fall off the map when he is batting. If it were just one thing, it possibly could be explained away, but when the guy stops hitting for average, stops hitting for power, and now basically hits pretty weak grounders (actually even his hits that fall in are pretty poorly struck), there has to be some explanation besides "it's an off year". This guy went from stud batter to dud batter, either he is going blind or someone has really put the bad mojo into this guy's head "teaching him to bat" this year. Martin needs to study his tapes of his at-bats and try and regain those disciplines that he once used at the plate.

  8. Roger Dodger says:

    l. Martin was some very private photo's of Mark, and Mark has to continue the PR push, or suffer the embarassment.

    2. My only concern for carrying Martin while he trying to get his swing back is — we have needed him with Manny out. Really, it has been Blake & Ethier with the power for the most part while Manny is down.

    3. On Martin's decision making and the two hitting coaches — Martin has made his decision to pull almost everything. (With his speed, maybe he should try bunting once a game; a well placed bunt might catch them off guard — might be better than all those ground outs.)

    4. I predict that Martin will come out of it TONIGHT. Martin is now ready to be all Mark says he will be.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    I guess we are forced to listen to the Angels feed for this game tonight.

  10. Ken says:

    Why do we have to listen to a cheator like Garvey dogging players who cheated

  11. Michael says:

    No , Martin isn't broke. He was hitting .083 for June going into last nights game. He is ready to take off now that he has his website business all taken care of. Time for Mark to restart the chant for Victor Martinez. How about Russ and Ebert for Cliff Lee and Victor.

  12. Roger Dodger says:

    I did not take time here to check all of the box scores —- but we use to talk about how the Dodgers socred bunches of runs in the first inning, or early in the game — and would wear other teams down.

    That that seems like ancient history now. It seems more like, the other team scores 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 runs early, and the Dodgers have to wait till the starter goes out, then pick away at their pen.

    Anyway, the Dodgers have lost the magic touch to beat up on other teams . . . just hang around long enought to win. Let's get back to others.

  13. Mark_Timmons says:

    Michael,

    I might do that.

  14. Roger Dodger says:

    On that line drive in the 1st that Kemp dove for . . . where was the left fielder??? It did not seem to me that he had started over to do any backing up. But the camera picture I saw, did not show it.

  15. Mark_Timmons says:

    I know you all think Martin is trying to pull everything, but I don't think that is the case. I that that is way too simplistic. Martin has always hit to all fields and now that he has ZERO HR for the year, he is trying to pull everything? He isn't stupid and I don't believe that is even possible.

  16. Mark_Timmons says:

    What a play by Blake. Did you see him watch that ball all the way to his hand? Fundamentally sound! And, then Loney gunned down Figgins at 1B! Loney arguably has the best arm of any 1B in MLB.

  17. Mark_Timmons says:

    2 ESPN Sportscenter Top 10 plays by Casey Blake tonight… and it's only the 2nd inning!

  18. Mark_Timmons says:

    BB

    I'll take it!

    Now, can Andre produce in the clutch or does his sphinctor tighten up too much?

  19. Mark_Timmons says:

    I won't say it…

  20. CaptainLoose says:

    You don't have to. We know what you are thinking.

  21. Mark_Timmons says:

    Great catch by Pierre

  22. Michael says:

    The Angel feed didn't say anything and their feed cut it off but didn't Andre bobble the ball or something ?

  23. Michael says:

    Allright, my whipping boy comes thru. If you didn't recall, James is my man, Batman.

  24. Ken says:

    Swing at a inside pitch to end the rally and Strike out

    Martin is back – 2 hit balls up the middle on pitches that were middle or outside part of the plate

  25. Mark_Timmons says:

    Michael,

    Yes, but he still had no chance.

  26. CaptainLoose says:

    I just noticed that it took Bills 112 pitches to get through 6. Typical Dodger starter stuff, about half of his pitches went for strikes.

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    The Dodgers really missed earlier in this game — to score runs. I want my Manny back. He does make a difference and makes some of the Dodgers better hitters.

    Did any of you see the Arizona State – Texas game. I was pulling of ASU, but Texas hit HRs in the 9th to come from behind. Some future MLB players there . . .

  28. BillRussell says:

    Wow Captain, I'm glad I gave you the opportunity to get the poison out. Even when you dead wrong about things I bet you think you're right on the money. Good Yuck with that Andy the Roach thing.

    Bottom of the eight. I hope the human gas can – can put the fire out

  29. BillRussell says:

    The Human Gas Can just poured gas all over the place.

  30. James says:

    why the hell is our number 3 hitter bunting in the 9th inning this is awful baseball. right now giving up an out with a guy who is 3/4 tonight awful.

  31. James says:

    awful baseball two nights in a row were playing like a bunch of pussies bunting in the last inning with the middle of the order up. We have a 9 game lead let the players play. If Torre doesn't think Hudson can get a hit in the 9th inning why the hell is he batting 3rd this is ridiculous.

  32. CaptainLoose says:

    Ebert? The movie guy?

    So, you guys would trade a AA player and a catcher hitting .238 for a 200 inning starter who currently has sub 3 ERA and a catcher hitting .345?

    Yeah, that'll happen because the Cleveland GM is a moron and Jed can outsmart him.

    Relax. Martin hit .330 in May. This is just an extended slump. He'll be back.

  33. Mark_Timmons says:

    Now, this is where I expect Hudson and/or Blake to produce. Bases loaded – One out.

    Hudson Pops up.

    It's all up to the Foundation.

  34. Mark_Timmons says:

    Respect Russ Martin and Raffy! Martin GUNNED down Figgins!

  35. BillRussell says:

    Where is Captain Loose's bashing of the Foundation. Not much to bash about lately I guess.

  36. CaptainLoose says:

    I thought we agreed to let it go.

    Oh wait, as long as the Foundation is doing ok, you want to talk about it. OK.

    LaRoche is on the schneid, down to .277. Blake, remarkably is still over .300 but will not stay there. He never has, so, why would anyone think he will now?

    Hows that?

    oh, wait, 2 strike outs and a weak grounder to third and he is at .300 even. He should be below .300 to stay by the end of the evening.

    Better?

  37. CaptainLoose says:

    Poison? Dead wrong?

    That's just a tad strong there isn't it Bill? Why the pugilism? Something amiss at home?

    Our 4 and 4 hitters were 1 for 8, 4 K's (3 by Blake) and 7 LOB. We just have to have better production from those positions on any given night or it will be difficult to win.

    Of course, there's Mota, but our pen can't be perfect every night.

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