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.