What’s Wrong With J.D. Martinez?

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It’s clear J.D. Martinez is going through a slump to start this season.  Through 19 games the Red Sox designated hitter hasn’t exactly been sharp.  Through his 19 games this season, he is hitting .219 with two home runs and nine RBI.  Those numbers are eye popping, but not for the right reasons.  These numbers are very unlike Martinez, and after Friday nights 0-4 performance with four strikeouts against the Yankees, there is legit cause for concern. 

Photo courtesy of masslive.com

So what’s the problem with Martinez?  It might have to do with the fact he does not have the ability to review video of his in-game at-bats.  There is one thing about Martinez, he is a creature of habit.  With not having the ability to go to the video room to break down his at-bats during the game is having an impact on the slugger. 

This season’s new rule has been an adjustment for Martinez, but based off his stats through 19 games it doesn’t look like he’s adjusting at all.  As a big league hitter you need to make adjustments, and while it’s clear the lack of video is impacting Martinez, he needs to adjust.  Martinez’ routines have come to a detriment to the team during their last meeting with the Yankees.  In their last meeting against the Bronx Bombers, Martinez was on the bench and could have used his stick.  Instead Andrew Benintendi remained in the game and he struck on four pitches. 

Was is that point important?  Because Benny was the potential tying run and has struggled mightily all season.  Martinez since joining the Red Sox has hit .320 against the Yankees, up to that point.  Instead Roenicke stuck with Benny and the Red Sox lost.  Roenicke stated it takes Martinez a while to get loose in the cage. 

So Martinez wasn’t available to pinch hit because he wasn’t loose?  There seems to be a lot of excuses coming out of Fenway about this team and the fact Martinez didn’t pinch hit and can’t look at his in game film.  The Red Sox have the worst record in the American League and are neck and neck with the Pirates for the worst record in the league.  That’s important because the only thing they’re fighting for is the first overall pick. 

If the Red Sox feel that this season is lost, which anyone with two eyes in their head can clearly see, then it’s time to look at trading Martinez.  He can opt-out this fall, and if the National League keeps the DH then he’s all but gone.  The Padres, Dodgers, Mets and the Braves could all be suitors for Martinez.  In fact all of those teams have one thing in common, young controllable starting pitching.  The Red Sox need arms and baldy. 

Tom Werner made a statement on NESN that the team will start looking at trading players who aren’t under long term contracts.  “We expect to field a competitive team each year.  We expected to have a good offense, a relentless offense.  Even our offense has not clicked the way we would have hoped.  We obviously don’t have enough pieces right now to compete,” said Werner to Tom Caren on NESN.  This is a far cry from a few days prior when Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said they can string some wins together and get back in the mix.  One thing is for certain, they don’t look aligned on their message once again from a front office standpoint. 

Whatever the Red Sox decide to do, to me it’s time to look at shipping off players and developing a future for this team.  It’s time to trade Martinez now before he opts out and they only get salary relief versus salary relief and prospects. 



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Boston Sports Syndicate: What’s Wrong With J.D. Martinez?
What’s Wrong With J.D. Martinez?
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