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Russell Martin: Time To Bail?

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Russell Martin has been a roto stud at the catcher position since he was called up in 2006, and he has never looked back. He won the ROY award in 2006, and was selected to the All-Star team in 2007 and 2008.

He has all the hitting qualities a roto owner wants from an OFer, but he's a catcher. He can hit for a solid average, hit for decent power, and can steal double digit bases. So, in roto leagues, he has plenty of value. His main talent is that he can steal a base. He stole 10 bases in 2006, 21 in 2007 and 18 in 2008. Martin also provides owners with a solid OBP, as he walks alot, resulting in more SB opportunities.

But what he has done.....or not done...in 2009 is puzzling. He is currently hitting .230-.337-..276-.613 with no homers, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 2 CS, and he is on pace to strike out over 100 times for the first time in his career.

This after he has produced the following over the last three years:

AVG. OBP SLG OPS

2006 .282 .355 .436 .792

2007 .293 .374 .469 .843

2008 .280 .385 .396 .781

Martin's power started to drop off in the 2nd half of 2008. as his SLG dropped 100 points from .436 to .336. He hit 10 HRs and 17 doubles in the 1st half of 2008, and only 3 HRs and 8 doubles in the 2nd half.

I am wondering if all the games Martin played the last 3 years-121 in 2006 (called up in May), 151 games in 2007, and 155 games in 2008 are starting to catch up with him.

I thought maybe he was a slow starter, but I checked how he hit in April for the ehyars 2007 and 2008, and that is not the case. His OPS in 2007 was .863, and his OPS in 2008 was .888.

What boggles my mind is that manager Joe Torre continues to hit Martin between 4th and 6th in the lineup everyday, even though Matt Kemp is hitting about 70-80 points higher than him.

If I owned Martin, I would wait till he had his first hot week, and I would package him for something of value, because right now, he has no value.

And the Dodgers may regret trading Carlos Santana by 2010.