‘Russell Martin’ (55) days until Opening Day.
What will Martin bring to the Bucs in 2013? He doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill after Rod Barajas’ awful 2012 campaign, but the Pirates need a strong season out of their new backstop.
Three questions about number 55…
1. Is he worth the two year, $17 million contract? The Pirates put a lot of cash on the table for Martin and he decided to take it. It’ll be interesting to see if he can play to this value and truly earn that second year.
2. How much will his power suffer at PNC Park? The spacious left field at PNC is no joke, and his offense has declined over the past few years. His power numbers were aided by favorable dimensions at Yankee Stadium, so he may not find such luck in his new ballpark.
3. Can he throw out a high percentage of base stealers? The Pirates’ inability to catch opponents on the basepaths in 2012 has been discussed over and over again. While some blame certainly rests on the pitchers, Martin still needs to show off his throwing arm. Replicating Barajas’ 6% caught stealing will not get the job done.