Pedro Martinez wouldn’t mind finishing career with Red Sox

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Every once in a while someone gets ahold of Pedro Martinez, talks to him about what he’s doing these days, and then gets around to asking the inevitable question: “Are you going to play again?”

Martinez has consistently said his return to baseball is unlikely, and that might still be true. But his tune is changing just a bit. Speaking to Joe Brescia of the New York Times, Martinez said he is not only interested in returning to MLB, but would prefer to finish up his career in Boston and officially retire as a member of the Red Sox.

I’d probably have to say the Red Sox. I would like to win a World Series in the National League, so the Phillies are in there, too. But for the time I’m going to be playing, I think Boston is more suitable so that I can retire with the Boston Red Sox and go to the Hall of Fame with the same hat.

Are you listening, Theo Epstein? After Clay Buchholz’s start today, you might want to consider it. Although, at the current pace, stocking up on arms for a pennant chase might be a pointless endeavor.

Martinez, 39, said he is in good shape right now and could be ready to take a mound within a month or so if need be. Over the course of his 18-year career, the certain Hall of Famer struck out 3,154 batters in 2,827.1 innings, going 219-100 with a 2.93 ERA. He last played in 2009 for the Phillies, when he was 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA in nine games.

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The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

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When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.