LADY AT THE BAT: Pettitte's Win: Was Russell Martin's Absence The Difference?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pettitte's Win: Was Russell Martin's Absence The Difference?

Andy Pettitte looked great last night against the Cincinnatti Reds:  8IP, 4H, 0R, 1BB, 9SO, his first win since 2010.  His battery-mate was backup catcher Chris Stewart and, with the exception of a passed ball in the first inning, the two of them put together one of the most impressive games for the Yankees so far this season.

In Pettitte's first start, he threw to Russell Martin, and he lost. CC Sabathia threw to Russell Martin in his first start as well, and he lost. Sabathia's improvement seemed to go hand-in-hand with his pairings with Stewart. In previous seasons, Sabathia always seemed to throw better when Francisco Cervelli was behind the plate. At least, to me he did.

Martin's reputation seems to be that of a good guy who has a rapport with his pitchers. But is he really that great of a catcher? He is better at blocking balls than Stewart is, but do the other aspects of his game measure up to Stewart's? I don't think so. Joe Girardi may have been keeping him in the lineup for his bat, but his bat has been missing so far this season. That pretty much makes him a worse catcher that Chris Stewart at this point.

Martin's not going to become the backup catcher, but if he continues not to hit and not to catch as well as Stewart, it will make for a pretty troublesome situation.

Photo credit: Associated Press


Chrissy said...

I wondered the same thing. I love Martin's enthusiasm and he seems like he works hard but at this point it's not paying dividends. I'm sure he'll pick it up but he and Stewart are basically the same offensive player right now and if the pitchers seem more comfortable with Stewart maybe Stewart should be back there more often. Martin has earned some time, at least from me, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Bernadette Pasley said...

Martin must have read my post because he homered today. LOL :)
Seriously, though, he needs to hit more. Otherwise, Girardi might as well catch Stewart for the majority of the games.