Has Russell Martin Played Too Much?

A manager must be careful with their catcher, especially one that is very valuable to the team.  This includes the amount of playing time they get and how many innings they catch.  If a catcher does catch too many innings, it could wear them down and bring down their overall performance.  I mentioned in yesterday’s game thread how Russell Martin’s performance has gone down in quality throughout the season, and being overplayed could be why.

(Reuters)

To be quite honest, I was on board with playing Martin as much as possible in the beginning of the season in order to ‘hide’ Gustavo Molina seeing as though he is not a legitimate MLB back stop.  However, once Francisco Cervelli got back off the disabled list I was hoping he would take over some responsibility.  The average amount of games that a catcher usually catches per season is around 140 and Martin has played in 48 of the 57 possible games.

This being said, a lot of his off days have come when Cervelli came back.  But the amount of games he played before this time definitely took a toll on him.  He hit .293 with six homers April, but in May his performance clearly fell off in May he hit .200 with three homers and so far in June he is hitting .091.

Russ is now on pace to catch 136 games, which is normal, so I expect his numbers to get better over the next couple of weeks as his days off become more usual.  He fouled a ball off of his toe and it has been sore ever since.  It feels better each day and they gave him yesterday off which is definitely a good thing with today being a team off day, that’s two straight days of rest for his toe and body.  If you ask any player, they will tell you that when they’re given two days off in a row, it’s usually the second one that rests them the most.  Hopefully this does the same for Martin and his toe and he comes into the Boston series ready to play.

So did the Yankees play Russell martin too much in the early part of the season.  Probably.  But it doesn’t mean they ruined him or that he’s still going to catch too much because he’s on pace to catch 136 games.  It just means that they need to be a little more careful the rest of the way and make sure he always feels well-rested.  Hopefully, with more regular rest, he can start to heat up a little bit and get back to the way he was hitting at the beginning of the season

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