Dave Roberts confirmed before Friday evening’s game that Russell Martin will be making his Dodgers debut…again. Martin will be behind the plate catching Ross Striping in the second game of the series against Arizona.
Russell Martin will make his (second) @Dodgers debut tonight, manager Dave Roberts confirmed to us on @MLBNetworkRadio. Martin will be part of the starting battery with Ross Stripling against the @Dbacks. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 29, 2019
Russell Martin was acquired over the offseason partially to fill the gap left by Yasmani Grandal. Grandal of course left via free agency, signing with Milwaukee. It has been a long journey back home for Martin, who signed with the Yankees in free agency in December 2010. Martin played in New York for two years before heading to Pittsburgh, where he also played for two years. Martin eventually moved on to Toronto where he played for the next four seasons.
And now here we are, nine years removed from the last time Russell took the field for the Dodgers. He will don his familiar number 55 and take the field behind the dish to catch Stripling in what many hope will be a phenomenal year in Los Angeles.
Martin hit acceptably during Spring Training, or at least much better than he has the last two years in Toronto. It was during that time that Russell hit a combined 208 across 181 games. His Spring stats shaped up slightly better than that, hitting 226 with a few home runs to go along with some very productive at-bats.
Roberts has already said that Austin Barnes will get the bulk of starts behind the plate. And if Opening Day is any indication into how his season will go, Barnes will keep that job. He went 3 for 4 with a homerun after hitting 289 in Spring Training.
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