Extra Bases

Martinez looking better every day

Victor Martinez broke his thumb June 27. He was hitting .289 with a .344 OBP and .480 slugging percentage at the time, with 38 RBIs.

Since then, Red Sox catchers are at .140/.208/.140 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Jason Varitek was 2 for 9 with two RBIs before he joined Martinez on the disabled list. Since then, Kevin Cash (3 for 27) and Gustavo Molina (1 for 7) have taken over.

Don’t blame those guys. Cash was catching in Triple A after designated by Houston. The Red Sox traded for him because he was familiar with their pitchers. Any offense would be a bonus. Molina is a minor league journeyman who was called up only because Pawtucket catchers Dusty Brown and Mark Wagner were on the disabled list.

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It speaks to how difficult it is to find a catcher who can be productive offensively. Further, it speaks to how valuable Martinez is. The Red Sox came into the season believing they were well-stocked with catching prospects. But outside of Ryan Lavarnway, who is with Double A Portland, none have impressed.

It seems funny to say, but going on the disabled list may be what ultimately gets Martinez a new contract with the Red Sox. Right now, his value has never been more apparent.

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