Saturday, May 19, 2012
Pettitte's Win: Was Russell Martin's Absence The Difference?
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