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Entries in Russell Martin (2)


Martin's Troubles

Despite his two hits in last night's 9-8 loss to the L.A. Angels (one of which drove in two runs to tie the game in the 7th), Russell Martin is still hitting below .200.  His current line of .186/.329/.339 is reminiscent of his 2010 performance when he finished with a .248/.347/.332 line.  The only difference so far is that his BABIP in 2010 was .287 while it's currently sitting at .209. Perhaps a glimmer of hope?

Martin has always seemed to struggle with pitches down, and this year is no exception:

Russell Martin, 2012Martin has just one hit on a low pitch this season.  Since 2010, he's hitting .127 on pitches down with a .258 wOBA. His contact rate is also a weak 57.7% on low pitches, over 30% lower than pitches middle and up.

Pitchers are going to keep zoning in on that low zone against Martin unless he can make an adjustment. Between 2010 and 2011, 36.2% of all pitches Martin saw were down in or below the strike zone. That percentage is sitting at 38.1% in 2012.  Given his early struggles, it will likely go up over the rest of the season.


A Grand Night in the Bronx

Eat your heart out, Murderers' Row. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson each hit a grand slam in last night's 22-9 thrashing of the Oakland Athletics, making the Yankees the first team in major league history to hit three grand slams in a game.

Cano ripped a low-and-inside splitter from Rich Harden over the right field fence in the fifth inning:


That's a bad location for Harden, considering that Cano typically crushes pitches low and at the knees:

Cano's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2011

The Yankees second baseman is slugging .778 on pitches thrown down and in, which ranks in the top 10 among MLB hitters.

One inning later, Martin hit an opposite-field shot on a high 96 MPH fastball thrown by Fautino De Los Santos:


As was the case with Cano, Martin's blast came on a pitch thrown to one of his hot spots in the zone:

Martin's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2011

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Martin's granny is that he went the opposite way. Just four of the righty batter's 69 career home runs had been hit to the opposite field prior to last night, yet his grand slam was his second opposite-field homer of the night (he also took Harden deep in the fourth frame).

Granderson made history in the eighth, golfing a low 94 MPH Bruce Billings fastball to right-center field:


Ranking second in the majors in home runs and slugging percentage, Granderson is scorching pitches thrown just about anywhere in 2011...

Granderson's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2011

...but he's killing fastballs like no one else. Granderson has a major league-best .771 slugging percentage and 24 homers against heaters. Mark Teixeira ranks a distant second in homers vs. fastballs, with 19.