Russell Martin signed with the Yankees as a free agent last offseason, but he remains arbitration eligible for 2012 and because of that the All-Star catcher said yesterday that he expects to be back in New York next season.
“So either I’ll get offered a contract or I won’t get offered a contract,” Martin told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. “It is the same situation I was in with the Dodgers last year. Now, it is up to the Yankees to make a decision. For me, I would like nothing more than to be here.”
Whereas the Dodgers non-tendered Martin following a career-worst, injury wrecked season, the Yankees will almost surely retain him for what will likely be around $6 million.
Martin’s overall numbers were mediocre and he cracked a .700 OPS in just two months, but for a one-year commitment at a hard-to-fill position he certainly makes sense after hitting .237 with 18 homers in 125 games. Among the 26 catchers to bat at least 300 times this season Martin ranked 14th in OPS and also threw out 30 percent of steal attempts.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.