Categorized | Mark Timmons

A Key To 2010

A Key To 2010

I know that a lot is riding on the young arms of Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw this season.  How well the Dodgers do will certainly be determined in part, by how well the two young Aces perform.  I also believe that a BIG KEY TO 2010 is how well Russell Martin plays.

Some people think he should be rested more or that he should play 3B on occasion.   Russ Martin has been a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glover. 

In 2010, he needs to be both.

Where Martin plays and how much he plays depends upon how well he hits.  I would say that this is his “make-or-break” year with the Dodgers.  I would not be surprised if he hit .297 with a .401 OB%, nor would I be surprised if he hit .251 with a .348 OB%. 

Is he the second best catcher in baseball, or is he second-string?

Will the real Russ Martin please step up?

About Mark Timmons

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

24 Responses to “A Key To 2010”

  1. Ty says:

    He’s regressed for a few years now. Solid glove but his bat hasn’t been the same in recent years. He’s a top 10 Catcher but far from the second best catcher in the league.

  2. lawdog says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin put those kinds of numbers of either Mover. But I’m tellin’ ya, if he keeps doing a Frank Howard empression up there and tries to hit every pitch, no matter where it’s located all the way to Burbank, it’s, more likely that he’ll hit .219 with an OPB of .275.

    I’d agree the team as constituted will win 85 games, if all the kids step up. If the Rookies inserted into the starting line up go 4-12, expect a record around .500–if we’re lucky.

  3. Roger Dodger says:

    Just back from doing some things, listening to Home Plate on XM. Kevin Kennedy was on. A fan called in and wanted Kevin’s take on Billingsley and what it will take to get him back to winning ways.

    Kevin said one basic thing. He continues to show each hitter all of his pitches early in the game. That, he said, does not work.

    Kevin said that Ned was on the show last Friday and said they have talked about this to Chad, but he still does it. Also, (and Kevin said this without giving a name, but we know who) and who is catching him and calling the game.

    My additional take is, yes, he might be throwing all 4 of his pitches to most in the 1st and 2nd innings, but as he misses the plate and the black, these hitters see ALL of his pitches getting several looks — then a bit later get their timing down on him — and he struggles.

    Kennedy said that Roy H. might only see 91 on his fastest fastball, but his control and painting the corners and then the up and down location and east and west location — hitters do not get to him and his pitches.

    That Chad needs to learn to pitch and not just throw.

  4. Roger Dodger says:

    Troy, you ask from the last file on Martin: “b. who else we gonna put there that is a better hitter?”

    I suggest that is easy — who ever is playing 3b down in single A for the Dodgers.

  5. DRomo says:

    Martin is not the 2nd best catcher in baseball. Not even if he has the numbers he has had in the past. He is very VERY good. But at his best he may not even be top 5.

    1. Joe Mauer (Best all around catcher maybe ever. Hits for power and average and plays Gold Glove defense who has ever done that?)
    2. Yadier Molina
    3. Brian McCann
    4. Victor Martinez
    5A. Bengie Molina
    5B. Russ Martin?

    Before you slam Bengie Molina, look at his stats. HE is old and FAT but is better defensively and hit for more power and average the last 2 years. He played in only 11 fewer games than Martin last year and did I mention he is old and FAT!! Russ can steal bases and that is a huge advantage to have as a catcher, but like Vin Scully says “You can’t steal 1st”. Martin’s defense has eroded and he is clearly not a premier defensive catcher. I look at the RBIs here too. Russ needs to be a run producer. He can be a guy who hits down in the order but he should still make the most of his opportunities. 53 RBIs at the catching position and playing in the amount of games he did is UNACCEPTABLE. Unless he is a defensive stud…which he (Martin) is not. Molina drove in 80 and was great defensively. Did I mention he is old and FAT?
    I know it won’t happen but Molina would be great for this young staff of pitchers too. Martin can call a nice game but many baseball people say Bengie Molina calls as great a game as any catcher in baseball. He is a big reason why Lincecum and Cain have started their careers so successful. I have rarely seen young pitching strive with young catching, have you?

    I love Martin, he is one of my favorite players but we have to be honest here. This is definitely a put up or shut up season.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bengie Molina can hit but he can’t run a lick. His doubles are singles and his singles are close plays at first. In fact his triples are singles. But he can catch.

  7. Bill Russell says:

    That was me. Rebooted the computer a while back. Peace

  8. lawdog says:

    So, what you’re saying is that our woes will all be gone if we just sign an catcher who is old and fat. Hell, I used to catch! And I’m old and fat! Sign me up, Ned! I’ll play for the major league minimum!

  9. DRomo says:

    You are missing the point Lawdog. Russ Martin is being outplayed by and old fat guy. We need Russ Martin to be more. That said I would be thrilled if Martin could match the numbers (offensivley and defensivley) of the old fat guy!

    BRuss, I want a catcher who can catch and hit. I’ll take the singles. Molinas singles deep to the gap drive in runs! Martin’s pop ups (overswinging) drive in no one!

    I am pulling for Russ, I just wonder if he can really make it happen.

  10. Mark Timmons says:


    When I said “Is he the second best catcher in baseball, or is he second-string?”

    I meant just that. He has the talent to be the 2nd best catcher in baseball (nobody beats Mauer), but the direction he’s been heading could be towards 2nd string.

    I hope he’s the 2nd best catcher in baseball. That’s the Russ Martin I used to know…

  11. Rory says:

    I still take Martin. He is only 27 so I think he is still on his way up. And his CERA is always among the league best and still has a career .368 OBP. If he hits .270 with a .370 OBP and does what he does behind the plate, we benefit.

    I predict those numbers for him. His RBI’s, runs scored and stolen bases make him a top 5 fantasy pick.

  12. Bootz says:

    Wow. Russell sure is the enigma of all enigmas. I think that it is CRUCIAL that he gets at least 1 day off a week. Problem is, who is going to be our back up?

    What people have to remember is: catching is thought of as pitch calling, and defense first. Offense is always considered a bonus, so that SS year Russell put up was a big plus. Maybe we are a bit jaded because of it, but if he doesn’t put up a .270BA .360+OBP with a slugging percent in the mid .400′s, I will be disappointed.

    Needless to say, I’m more distraught over that fact that Carlos Santana is an Indian, only because McCourt didn’t want to pick up Blakes contract when he was sent over. That one could just bite us.

  13. Roger Dodger says:

    Russell would have been truly great if he played about 10 to 15 years ago and had a locker between McGuire and Jose. See, Martin needs about 20 more feet on those warning track fly balls.

  14. Rory says:

    Martin needs to straighten out those fly balls. Top spin Russell. Hit curve balls back through the middle and take the outside pitch to right. Do those three things and you are back to .280.

    Easy peasy.

  15. Mark Timmons says:


    You are as jaded as me…

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If he stops trying to hit everything out of Yellowstone, Martin will square up more balls, and he’ll get the 20 feet. But sans the 20 feet. I’ll be happy to see more line drives in the gaps and down the lines, along with a bunch of bases hits up the middle. For Russell it’s really simple; back to the basics. The talent is there. All he needs to do is get his head screwed on straight. If he does, it’s the .297 scenario (or better), and if he doesn’t, it’s the .251 scenario (or worse).

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    You have it pegged, Brooklyn!

  18. Roger Dodger says:

    Yes, but everyone has been tell him, yelling at him, to do just that. Meet the ball and run. Go where the pitch comes, hit to all fields. He does that once or twice, then go back to swinging from the heels.

    He knows it. He just thinks he is still on the juice.

  19. DRomo says:

    I have no doubt Russ could be a damn good catcher for a lot of years here. But we all see he is trying to kill everything. He is overworked yet he fights sitting out.

    “He is ONLY 27?” That is no spring chicken when it comes to a catcher. By 27 he should be in his prime. This is his year…it better be!

    Also what is with this new CERA stat? Who ever heard of such a thing? It is crazy how many stas have popped up in the last 5 years or so. Sabermetrics gone wild! It always leads me back to what Vinny says “Statistics are to the truth as a lampost is to a drunk. They may offer support but not always enlightenment”. I use my eyes, CERA or know CERA Russ needs a bounce back year or he is in trouble.

  20. lawdog says:

    I think the onbly thing stopping Martin from giving the ‘roids a whirl and making the “warning track flies” sail out of the park is the negative effect it would have on his social life… Shrivel my WHATS!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

  21. lawdog says:

    Wanna start your day with a genuine Kurt Warner “feel good” football story. Check this one out:

  22. steevo17 says:

    Once again, as always, its “hit n miss” here.

    A big “hit”: yes, R. Martin is now officially considered a “prime” age major-leaguer and as such his production should reflect that.

    A minor “miss”: I totally agree that he is in an important stage of his career, however I don’t think he is yet at a “make or break” point. While his overall level of play was down in ’09, he wasn’t a total disaster; other than an anemic SL%, his other stats (offensive and defensive) were very comparable to his rookie year.

    A definite “hit”: Martin is obviously trying way too hard for the big hit way too often, either the HR or a fence-rattling bazooka shot. His apparent aversion to taking advantage of his speed (i.e.,:hitting the ball on the ground and up-the-middle/opposite field) more often is his major weakness. Possibly a little coaching is in order here…Joe Torre? Don Mattingly? Anyone?

    A ginormous “miss”: any thought of replacing Martin with Bengie Molina is idiotic. Molina is essentially who Russell Martin WILL BE in 10 years. Molina is a very good staff handler, one of the best right now and is a better than average hitter as a catcher. He was never given adequate praise in recent years whenever catchers were discussed in my humble opinion, but to suggest we just give up on a 27 y/o Martin and bring in the soon-to-be 36 y/o Molina is really absurd.

    If Russell Martin can at least put up similar offensive numbers as Bengie Molina already has, I would be satisfied. I would really be more interested in Martin improving his staff handling abilities to be Molina’s equal…something he’s already close to. Keep the faith Dodger fans.

  23. Blue Haze says:

    Could Martin’s rapid decline have something to do with the supplements he was or is not now taking? He is a horse his first year, even into his second season, then the decline started. Makes you wonder. Why the rapid fall, besides being pussy whipped?


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