Russell Martin’s Injury

With no disrespect to Angel Guzman (and best of wishes to him on a speedy recovery and return to pitching), the most significant injury endured this spring has to be Russell Martin’s groin pull. The initial diagnosis is that Martin will miss a month and some change, casting doubt on being the Dodgers’ opening day catcher.

Not to get all poetic and artsy here, but … groin pulls are bad. Just read the Rotowire excerpt about Torii Hunter in which he hears “good news” about a “popping sound” stemming from the groin area and try to not wince. Especially for men who make their living off being able to bend and squat for hours at a time. Allow me to defer to those more qualified on what this injury could mean for Martin’s long-term health, and instead look at what this means for the Dodgers.

For one, those attending the Dodgers’ spring games will mostly see Brad Ausmus or A.J. Ellis behind the dish. Dave Cameron discussed Ellis here. The book on Ellis is simple: He walks quite a bit, catches, and offers little else in the way of baseball skills. The book on Ausmus is the Old Testament. He oozes seniority, so he’s Joe Torre’s new Joe Girardi. This duo is unexciting and rather uninspiring. The good news though, is that Martin missing a few games really isn’t a big deal.

That’s not to comment on the potential for re-irritating the injury down the road, just the initial timetable, and it’s not to say this is good news. It’s just not a huge deal. Say Martin misses 10 games to start the season. That’s something like 35-40 plate appearances. CHONE has Martin contributing 8 runs over 596 plate appearances, or 0.013 runs per plate appearance. Times 35, that’s a little under a half a run. That’s it over a 10 game stretch.

You have to factor in Ellis and Ausmus’ lack of contributions too and there’s the whole defensive aspect that I’m blatantly ignoring, but the reality is that Martin missing 10 games doesn’t change the landscape of the division much, if at all.



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OremLK
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OremLK
6 years 4 months ago

Ellis is an interesting option; his .398 wOBA in 2008 (at AAA) was impressive, even coupled with a little BABIP luck. I would suggest that it is possible, however unlikely, that he could outhit Martin.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 4 months ago

I think, if I am the Dodgers, that this is the perfect time to play Ellis and hope he plays well. If he does, and Martin looks healthy, then it’s possible to trade him (of course if you think Ausmus is a good enough backup).

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 4 months ago

Some how, some way, Ausmus is still projected to be useful, even if it is hilarious CHONE projects him to get 319 PA.

To be fair to Ausmus, congrats to him, only 393 players in history have gotten at least 7,000 PA. Sure he has the same wRC+ as Royce Clayton, but that’s still a perfectly good career. And FWIW, baseball prospectus rates him as an excellent catcher.

Heather
Guest
Heather
6 years 4 months ago

With all due respect to both Martin and Guzman, news coming out of Twins camp that Joe Nathan might need Tommy John surgery is probably the most significant injury.

That being said, thanks for the breakdown on the Dodger’s catching situation.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 4 months ago

Yeah I just read up on Guzman’s injury.
Sad, quite the way to get your career ripped away from you.

Coby DuBose
Member
Coby DuBose
6 years 4 months ago

Don’t trust the Dodgers to make a good decision on playing time.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 4 months ago

Yeah, guarantee Ausmus gets almost every game Martin is out.

Unless of course Ellis goes 3 for 4 one day, then Torre will ride the hot guy, Belliard/Padilla style.

JoeN
Guest
JoeN
6 years 4 months ago

Worst injury of the Spring so far? Way to jinx the Twins…

Pat
Guest
Pat
6 years 4 months ago

Yo Russell, Imma let you finish, but Joe Nathan has one of the biggest Spring Training injuries of ALL TIME.

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