Switch-hitting Martinez offers Red Sox versatility 

July, 31, 2009

Victor Martinez


Victor Martinez has been a premium offensive catcher for most of his career despite some injuries in 2008, although his 2009 has been a tale of two seasons. Martinez has been horrible for more than two months after a roaring start; he was hitting .400 entering May 22, but since then is hitting .193 AVG/.284 OBP/.340 SLG over 243 plate appearances, including 80 against weaker NL pitching. He's a poor defender behind the plate and Cleveland has often toyed with the idea of moving him to third or first base. For Boston, he could replace Jason Varitek, or could fill in at multiple positions, playing every day but splitting time across catcher, first base and DH, especially the last when a left-hander is on the mound. He's a legitimate switch-hitter and controls the strike zone, so at worst the Red Sox just got a catcher who can get on base and who's under contract for a reasonable $7.5 million next year.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer