Baseball Essential’s AL Power Rankings: April 17

Throughout the season, a collaboration of writers at Baseball Essential will rank MLB teams considering record, potential, recent trends, and injuries. The rankings will be bi-monthly around the 1st and 15th of each month. The contributing voters for the American League rankings include Jon Becker, Sam Bellestri, Tyler Fiedler, Jake Hasan, Mark Hoffberg, Mike Husson, Matthew Hutcheson...
Via Baseball Essential
1 day ago  |  Discuss

Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Season Preview

As the newest member of the Batting Leadoff team, I wanted to do something creative for my first post. I started thinking recently about the best and worst case scenarios for teams around the league and after much consideration, I’ve decided to start with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the main challenger to my hometown St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central Division. Let’s...
Via Batting Leadoff
11 days ago  |  Discuss

Blue Jays In Montreal Exemplified By Russell Martin

“There is something special about baseball that goes far deeper than being a game. It is the father-son relationship that is built, the life lessons that are taught in the process of playing a game and the ability to overcome not succeeding all of the time and still considering yourself a success.” ― JohnA Passaro, In the Zone and other Sports Essays The Toronto Blue Jays...
Via Baseball Hot Corner
13 days ago  |  Discuss

2015 American League Predictions

A.L. East Toronto Blue Jays – That’s right, your eyes have not deceived you. The Blue Jays will finally make it to the playoffs for the first time since they won the 1993 World Series. Now this prediction shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but the additions of Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, in my opinion, are what will propel this team to the top. Yes, Marcus Stroman...
Via Hot Stove MLB
14 days ago  |  Discuss

The art of knuckleball catching

  Russell Martin was sitting at his locker in the Blue Jays' clubhouse, talking about catching the knuckleball, when former major-league catcher Sal Butera, a Jays coach, joined the conversation.  Butera caught knuckleballer Joe Niekro with the 1987 World Series champion Twins. Martin, the Jays' big free-agent addition, is learning to catch right-hander R.A. Dickey, the game's...
Via Fox Sports
16 days ago  |  Discuss

Blue Jays, Pirates both love Russell Martin, but only Toronto has him

DUNEDIN, Fla. – It’s almost as if the Blue Jays hatched a sinister plot on Russell Martin. Sure, Russ, here’s that lavish five-year contract. And here’s a pitching staff with two rookie starters, two rookie relievers and a 40-year-old knuckleballer, OK? “He’s got a full plate,” the knuckleballer, R.A. Dickey, said with a smile. “But hey, that’s why we paid him ...
Via Fox Sports
16 days ago  |  Discuss

Blue Jays Primed for Division Crown

Part three of a five-part series on the American League East sees us examining why it is the Toronto Blue Jays‘ year to finally win the division. The Blue Jays had a busy offseason adding two big bats in Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics and Russell Martin via free agency. They finally addressed their biggest need in signing Martin to a five-year deal. Donaldson has become...
Via Baseball Essential
19 days ago  |  Discuss

I haven’t freaked out yet about Russell Martin’s absence (but maybe I should)

Now that we’re rolling into season preview season, I’m starting to notice a trend in Pirate previews. There are really, really positive previews and there are guardedly optimistic ones. The dividing line between the two tends to be what the previewer thinks of the absence of Russell Martin. I mainly noticed this while reading the Bucs Dugout preview, in which Charlie is a little...
22 days ago  |  Discuss

Martin homers, Blue Jays blank Rays

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Russell Martin homered for the first time this spring, Roberto Osuna tossed 3 2-3 scoreless innings and the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Sunday in a game that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes. Martin's sixth-inning drive off reliever Mike Montgomery landed far beyond the right-center field wall. The three-time All-Star signed a five-year, $82...
Via AP on Fox
26 days ago  |  Discuss

Cervelli hoping to follow in Martin's footsteps for Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) When the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn't retain catcher Russell Martin as a free agent catcher last November, they decided to trade for his former backup. The Pirates acquired Francisco Cervelli in a deal from the New York Yankees on Nov. 12 for left-handed reliever Justin Wilson, just days after Martin rejected their $56 million, four-year offer. Cervelli backed...
Via AP on Fox
March 16, 2015  |  Discuss

Blue Jays' split squad beats Canada juniors 17-3

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) R.A. Dickey gave up two runs in five innings, Russell Martin drove in a run and a Toronto Blue Jays split squad routed the Canadian junior national team 17-3 on Sunday. Making his third start of the spring, Dickey yielded four hits, walked one and struck out one on 70 pitches. The 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner was shaky in his last outing against Minnesota on...
Via AP on Fox
March 15, 2015  |  Discuss

Spring Training Game 14: Shutout on the road

New York Yankees 0 — Toronto Blue Jays 1In the road half of today’s New York Yankees split squad, the Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Yankees.After the Yankees were sent down in order, former Yankee Russell Martin started the bottom of the first inning with a double against Esmil Rogers. Devon Travis would go down swinging and Josh Donaldson would hit a single to left field. Brett...
Via Bronx Pinstripes
March 14, 2015  |  Discuss

JABO: The Value of Marco Estrada

The Blue Jays may have won the winter by acquiring Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, but no team has lost the spring more than Toronto, who saw young hurler Marcus Stroman tear his ACL in a workout on Tuesday morning. Surgery to repair the ligament will cost him the entire season, and opens up a […]
Via Fangraphs
March 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Russell Martin, MLB Catchers Have Stopped Stealing

Catchers are generally associated with stopping stolen bases on the defensive side. Last season, catchers stopped stealing bases on the offensive side as well. Russell Martin, Carlos Ruiz, and Jonathan Lucroy tied for the Major League Baseball lead for stolen bases by a catcher in 2014 with four. Catchers are not known for their prowess […]
Via Fangraphs
March 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Martin looks ahead to new chapter with Blue Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Russell Martin totally enjoyed his days in Pittsburgh. Two years, two playoff appearances after helping transform the also-ran Pirates into postseason contenders. Now with Toronto, the three-time All-Star catcher will soon get a look from across the diamond at what he left behind. The Blue Jays open exhibition play Tuesday when they host the Pirates. ''I had a...
Via AP on Fox
March 02, 2015  |  Discuss

Under The Greydar: Russell Martin

Let's be fair to the title here and say first off, we're talking catcher and we all know how much Grey cares about catchers. I'd say he cares more about closers than he does catchers. That says a lot. But with that said, I'd dare say he's pushed the catcher hate even a tad further with Russell Martin. Literally, he's almost the anti-Alyssa Milano this time around with his current...
Via Razzball
March 02, 2015  |  Discuss

The Blue Jays Need Maicer Izturis To Be Useful

The Blue Jays have new players up and down their lineup — Russell Martin, Justin Smoak, Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders, Devon Travis, etc. Dalton Pompey basically qualifies here as well. But one incumbent player may end up being just as, if not more, important than all of the new acquisitions — middle infielder Maicer Izturis. […]
Via Fangraphs
February 27, 2015  |  Discuss

Knuckleballer Dickey, Martin pair up for 1st bullpen session

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has grown accustomed to seeing new faces behind the plate during his two-plus years with the Toronto Blue Jays. Since a trade in December 2012 sent the NL Cy Young Award winner from the New York Mets to Toronto, Dickey has worked with several catchers. There's been Henry Blanco, J.P. Arencibia, Erik Kratz and Josh Thole, who was...
Via AP on Fox
February 25, 2015  |  Discuss

Happy Birthday Russell Martin, you’re a fantasy baseball bust

We’ve been a little slow getting around to our fantasy baseball contact here inside the locker room, as closing the door on football season involved a longer wrap than anticipated and because I haven’t been particularly inspired to write about any subject. That all changed this morning with a tweet from the Toronto Blue Jays: Happy Birthday @russellmartin55! RT to wish Russell...
Via Fantasy Sports Locker Room
February 15, 2015  |  Discuss

Millionaire pitcher Daniel Norris lives in a VW camper van

@DanielNorris18 Toronto Blue Jays 21-year-old pitching prospect Daniel Norris used his $2-million signing bonus to buy a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, which he plans to live in during spring training as he’s done the last two seasons. The van, nicknamed Shaggy after the Scooby-Doo character, will be Norris’s home for the next 2 1/2 months in Dunedin, Fla. In...
Via Sports-Glory
February 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Detroit Tigers Discussing Toronto Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro

With the recent news of designated hitter Victor Martinez tearing his medial meniscus in his left knee during an offseason workout, the Detroit Tigers have had internal discussions about the possibility of trading for Toronto Blue Jays’ catcher Dioner Navarro, according to a report by Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590. Martinez is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, as he is projected...
Via Baseball Essential
February 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Tigers and Blue Jays had ‘discussions’ about Dioner Navarro

With question marks surrounding Victor Martinez’s knee and Alex Avila’s concussions, the Tigers apparently explored the idea of trading for Toronto’s Dioner Navarro according to Jeff Blair  of Blair went as far as saying the two teams ‘had discussions’ regarding the Blue Jays catcher who now is limited to a backup role after the Jays signed Russell Martin...
Via The Majors Detroit
February 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Toronto Blue Jays’ Pick Up Brad Allen’s Option

Focused on improving their entire organization this off-season; the Toronto Blue Jays have made several moves that are designed to improve every club in their system. While the signing of Russell Martin and the trade for Josh Donaldson takes the cake, the Blue Jays have continued their efforts to better their affiliate clubs as well. With a continued focus on developing quality pitching...
Via Baseball Essential
February 08, 2015  |  Discuss

Francisco Cervelli < 500

My biggest problem with the question, “How do you replace Russell Martin?” is that it’s sort of a trick question. If we define “Russell Martin” as a very strong defensive catcher with an emphasis on pitch-framing that has decent on-base abilities (at least as it comes to walk-percentage) and decent pop for the position, well, I think the Pirates are relatively good at identifying...
January 22, 2015  |  Discuss

Francisco Liriano re-ups with Pirates for three years

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost catcher Russell Martin earlier this winter to the Blue Jays, but they won’t be losing starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. The club has agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with Liriano that will keep him in the black and gold. Source: Francisco Liriano to the #Pirates on a three-year, $39 million deal. — Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayMLB) December...
Via The Outside Corner
December 09, 2014  |  Discuss
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