When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Russell Martin after the 2012 season it was not for his bat -- and with good reason.
Russell Martin has been a part of four playoff teams -- two each with the Dodgers and Yankees. Photo credit: David Hague
Martin, who turned 30 in February, owns a career batting average of .258 and an OPS of .748 -- not terrible but certainly not great.
What has been terrible, however, has been Martin's offensive production. He is sitting on one hit this season.
The fact that Martin isn't lighting it up at the plate should not be a surprise -- he had a career-low .211 batting average and struck out a career-high 95 times last season and has seen his offensive statistics steadily decline during the last few seasons.
To be fair, however, Martin's early season numbers look especially bad because they're just that -- early season numbers. When a player starts this poorly all you see is those three zeros -- .000 -- and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for PiratesProspects.com. He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (ESPN.com, SportsIllustrated.com, FoxSports.com). Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports