J.D Martinez played his first game as a member of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday. It was easily the most intriguing moment of spring training to this point, as it finally gave us a look at how he’ll fit into the lineup. In a split squad game against the Minnesota Twins, Martinez was slotted in the cleanup spot and placed in left field defensively. Hanley Ramirez was at DH, which is presumably why Martinez got to play the outfield, but expect to see the new Red Sox slugger get at-bats at both corner outfield spots and DH as the spring goes on.
Now to the results of his work at the plate. I’ll level with you, there’s nothing to get too excited about. Martinez went 0-for-2 and left two runners on base.
His first at-bat came in the bottom of the first, with Jackie Bradley Jr. on second. Unfortunately, Martinez was only able to loft a lackadaisical fly ball into right field, which was easily caught for the third out of the inning.
#PorSiTeLoPerdiste: ¿Cómo le fue a @JDMartinez14 en su primer turno al bate con nuestro uniforme?— Red Sox de Boston (@RedSoxBeisbol) March 8, 2018
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Martinez came up again in the fourth inning, again with a runner on base, as Ramirez hit a single to lead off the frame. But Martinez once again flied out, this time to center field. He was taken out after the fourth inning and replaced by Aneury Tavarez.
As far as defense goes, Martinez was fine, bringing in all three fly balls hit his way and not committing an error.
So in all Martinez played four innings, went hitless in two at-bats, left two runners on and played a perfectly fine left field. It wasn’t the home run derby style debut that would have lit the baseball world ablaze, but its just the first step in a long journey to October.
The Red Sox have been bringing in a lot of old friends in spring training. The latest is Derek Lowe. An interesting fact about Derek Lowe is that he had more saves (85) as a Red Sox than wins (70). (Darren Hartwell; NESN)
We know that Craig Kimbrel is going to be performing the closing duties, but Alex Cora isn’t about that defined role life for setup men. (Chad Jennings; Boston Herald)
Even without defined roles, the bullpen still needs to step up because expecting (or wanting) starters to all throw 200 innings or more isn’t a great idea. (Alex Speier; Boston Globe)
Which spring training story lines make sense and which ones are a load of cattywampus nonsense? (Cam Ellis; Boston BP)
With the way to the team is currently constructed, the Red Sox are prime World Series contenders. But how long will that last? (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)