Russell Martin and pitches down

Nick Swisher swinging at everything
Wednesday Night Open Thread

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.

Nick Swisher swinging at everything
Wednesday Night Open Thread
  • A.D.

    Strange isn’t suppose to be the opposite, you can get to the pitches down but can’t catch up to the pitches up?

  • AL

    He needs to be cut. He is not the answer for the future, and he’s not performing at the plate or behind the plate. Give someone else a chance.

    • Brian Cashman is Watching


      • JohnnyC

        Watching what? The store?

  • RI$P FTW

    Nunez. Now.

  • JohnnyC

    The lower third of the line-up is worse than an NL line-up with the pitcher batting. And Martin is a major culprit in that. By the way, excellent work from KLong diagnosing and curing Martin’s huge hole in his swing.

  • Will

    Martin along with Swish are on the list of guys who need to go after 2012. We don’t need more ineffective overpaid players. Sure Martin’s D is nice but he’s also an auto out at the plate most of the time.

    • Monterowasdinero

      They are both not worth multi-year contracts. Move up in the box Russ!

  • DM

    I think Martin’s problem is the “one plane” swing issue that was brought up regarding Tyler Austin. I didn’t see enough of him in LA to judge, but I’d be shocked if was locked into the same swing slot he seems to be in now.

  • Rich in NJ

    If he would stop swinging for the fences, and try hitting the ball to RF and up the middle, he might have a chance to make better contact.