Not to be outdone by the Yankees using career-long first baseman Lyle Overbay in right field, the Pirates have catcher Russell Martin in right field tonight against the Braves.
In fairness Martin isn’t a typical catcher in that he’s a good athlete with some speed who’s played 18 games at third base in the majors. With that said, he hasn’t played an inning in the outfield since 2005, when Martin was a 22-year-old at Double-A.
Martin’s usual backup, Michael McKenry, is starting behind the plate and the Pirates’ primary right fielder, left-handed hitter Travis Snider, is on the bench against left-hander Mike Minor.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.