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Martinez increasing his value every day

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  September 27, 2010 12:31 PM

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Three thoughts on the way out of New York and headed to four scrimmages in Chicago:

Victor Martinez has started every game since coming off the disabled list in July. He leads all catchers in baseball Joe Mauer included with 19 homers and 72 RBIs and is hitting .300. If you took a poll of the Red Sox and asked them to name the teammate they respected the most, Victor would win in a landslide.

Unless there's a trade out there, bringing Martinez back would seem to be priority No. 1 for the Red Sox once the season ends. Investing in catchers beyond the age of 30 is risky business. But that is lessened by his ability to play first base and DH.

All Ryan Kalish did last night was single with one out against Mariano Rivera, steal second and third and score the tying tun in the ninth inning. Oh, and he also made a spectacular catch to rob Robinson Cano of a double in the seventh inning when the Yankees were up 2-1.

It makes sense not to trade Jacoby Ellsbury when his value is so low. But watching Kalish play center field these last few weeks will have to give the Red Sox some pause. Kalish is not a guy who will steal 70 bases but he will hit for more power than Ellsbury and he already has a better approach at the plate.

Kalish is seeing 4.14 pitches per plate appearances, which is in the vicinity of what David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis usually do. Yes, certainly, we're dealing with only 145 at-bats. But Kalish knows what he is doing. The 22-year-old has been very impressive.

I don't know that the Red Sox can get away with an outfield of Kalish, Ellsbury and J.D. Drew next season. That would depend on who they have in the infield. But Jayson Werth, Kalish and Drew would be a nice group.

Finally, did the Red Sox help out the rest of baseball by creating a blueprint on how to beat Mariano Rivera last night? The Sox made Rivera throw 29 pitches over his 1.1 innings and stole four bases.

Rivera pays almost no attention to runners on base, the product of rarely having any runners on base during his Hall of Fame career. Combine that with the scattershot arm of Jorge Posada and the Red Sox made some things happen in a hurry.

Joe Girardi was blunt after game, saying that the problem was Rivera letting Kalish and Bill Hall get great jumps.

The Yankees can be had. Their pitching is a mess and even Rivera looks human of late. You can bet the Rays, Twins and Rangers were paying close attention to that game last night.

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