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J.D. Martinez doesn’t like his reputation as a bad defender


New Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez‘s wish will be granted: he will play some outfield throughout the season, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. Manager Alex Cora said, “At home, he’ll play left field and if somehow he plays somewhere on the road here, he’ll play right field.”

Martinez will also spend some time at DH. He said, “That was part of the deal coming in, was knowing that I am going to play the outfield but I am going to DH at times too.” The former Astro, Tiger, and Diamondback inked a five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox last week.

Martinez thinks he’s a better defender than people give him credit for being, Michael Silverman reports. He doesn’t agree with the analytics that echo the thought and he is motivated to change his reputation. Baseball Reference’s defensive metric has Martinez at -35 runs below average over his seven-year career, though he was graded at one run above average last season. UZR, found at FanGraphs, puts him at -60.5 over his career and -13.1 last season.

Make no mistake, though: Martinez is in Boston for his bat, not his glove. Last year, he hit 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, and posted a 1.066 OPS in 489 plate appearances between the Tigers and Diamondbacks.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.