J.D. Martinez has had a slow start to spring training this year for the Dodgers. That’s probably putting it lightly. In 23 plate appearances, he’s currently hitting .143 with with three hits, one RBI and six strikeouts.
The Dodgers brought him in to be their full-time designated hitter, and, you know, hit the ball. Early in spring, he hasn’t been able to do that.
However, Martinez is known to be a slow starter — and also, we’re literally still in spring training. That’s why Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report isn’t worried about Martinez’s slow start (and neither am I). Here’s a piece of what Rymer had to say:
“But then there’s the big reason to give Martinez the benefit of the doubt: quiet springs are nothing out of the ordinary for him. He’s raised his OPS from the spring to the regular season in five of the last six seasons, and by an average of 279 points to boot. That’s not a fading star. That’s a guy who needs the bright lights.”
The Dodgers didn’t sign Martinez to rake in spring training. They signed him to drive in runs when the season starts, and in three weeks from now, that’s probably what he’s going to do.
Over the last two seasons, Martinez has hit .280 with 309 hits, 44 home runs, 85 doubles and 161 RBIs. He’s been named to the All-Star team in both seasons, and will be looking to have a similar offensive year in Los Angeles this year.
So, yes, he’s had a slow start to the spring. But until we get to the regular season, there’s absolutely zero cause for concern. If we’re having this conversation again in May or June, they we can start to show some concern. But for now, let’s just enjoy seeing him in a Dodger uniform, and passing his knowledge onto some of the younger guys.
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