Joe Torre is insane.
We already knew that he has a longstanding penchant for destroying his setup men by overpitching them to a ridiculous extent, but this season he is apparently also determined to destroy his team’s best position player too.
By which I mean the Dodgers’ all-star gold-glove catcher Russell Martin.
Granted, Martin is an amazing player. On a rather offensively challenged Dodgers team, he is batting .312, has a ridiculous .428 OBP, is on pace to walk 112 times, and walks more than he strikes out.
But what is even more ridiculous is that Martin is on pace to play in 162 games. As a catcher.
That’s right – we are more than 25% finished with the 2008 season and Martin has yet to have a single day off. Apparently Joe Torre thinks starting Martin at third base and then moving him back behind the plate in the later innings counts as an adequate day off, but I’m going to have to go ahead and say that is sheer madness.
I may not know much about baseball, but I do know that you are not going to have a very long career if you play all 162 games and spend 99 percent of those games behind the plate as a catcher.
Granted, with the fact that the only backup catcher Ned Colletti handed Torre was no-offense, no-defense Gary Bennett, who has now apparently contracted Mark Wohlers/Rick Ankiel disease as well, it is somewhat understandable that Torre might be loath to sit Martin, but Jesus Christ.
25-year-old, gold glove catchers who OBP .428 do not grow on trees, and it is lunacy to ask one to play every single game for an entire season. There are still 4 months left in the season, so Torre may yet give Martin a day off, but even to ask a catcher to play even two months without rest is pretty insane.
Given the fact that Martin has worn down in each of the last two seasons from overuse, he is almost certain to wear down again this year, if not have a serious career-threatening injury. If you have Martin on your fantasy team, I suggest you trade him now, as Torre is showing no signs of easing up and seems determined to drive the budding young star into the ground.