Martin withdraws from Team Canada over SS issue

Russell Martin has withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic.

Martin made the late decision to skip competing with Team Canada over both that team’s and the Pirates’ resistance to allowing him to play shortstop in The Classic.

“They both were uneasy about that,” Martin said, “and I simply didn’t want to catch. It’s just too much grind. The catcher’s out there the whole game, and it just takes your body so long to recover from catching 20 innings or so.”

Martin, signed to a two-year, $17 million as a free agent to be the Bucs’ new receiver, had looked forward to an opportunity to play short in the international tournament. When that became unlikely, he chose to withdraw from Team Canada and concentrate on getting ready for the season.

“I feel sorry for (Team Canada), but sometimes you just have to look out for what’s best for you. You have to make a personal choice. But I’m really sorry for how all this went down.”



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  4. R. Tenor

    I think Cole should have gone north with the club. If he does poorly, he could then be sent down. The pitching staff is not that great that we can at least not give him a chance. Why does management assume he won’t do well? Martin’s inability to throw out runners in disconcerting. Unfortunately, there are not designated catchers. I hoped we would get a catcher than can throw out runners. We should draft one, trade for one, or find one some other way. Beyond that why can’t our pitcher’s hold runners? I hope they are working on that every day.

    • mlblogstomsinger1

      Controlling the running game actually has been a top priority all spring, and we’ve already seen dramatic results: Pirates pitchers have picked off six runners, more than all last season. As for Martin — give him a little slack/time — he missed a couple weeks with a sore shoulder, and besides still regaining strength, also has to learn dynamics of a new pitching staff, which affects throwing timings/mechanics.

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