Russell Martin and pitches downBy
The Yankees have gotten a 78 wRC+ out of their catching duo this season, the fifth worst mark in the American League. Russell Martin has gotten warm of late — six hits and three walks in his last six games — but he’s still sporting a .190/.333/.339 batting line (91 wRC+) nearly two months into the season. The post-Jorge Posada era is off to an ugly start.
As Jonathan Scippa explained yesterday, Martin’s biggest problem is his complete inability to hit balls down in the strike zone. In fact, he has exactly one hit this season on a pitch down in the zone, everything else has come on pitches up around his waist and above. Make sure you click the link for a heat map that really drives the point home. Scippa notes that Russ has always had trouble with pitches down, but this season it’s been taken to an extreme. There’s an adjustment that has to be made on Martin’s part, but I’m not sure how easy it will be.