Since 1990 eight players have caught at least 145 games in a season: Jason Kendall (four times), Mike Piazza (twice), Brad Ausmus, Darren Daulton, Todd Hundley, Ivan Rodriguez, Benito Santiago and Russell Martin (once). Most of these catchers did not age gracefully. Thus it's wise for Dodgers manager Joe Torre to be reducing the catching workload of Martin (right). But does it make sense for Martin, 25, to spend his noncatching days playing third, where Torre has started him four times in '08? Perhaps it does while overachieving Blake DeWitt is manning the position, but once L.A. calls up Andy LaRoche, the equation changes. Our PECOTA projection system has LaRoche posting an .852 OPS in the bigs, exceeding Martin's lifetime .829. Torre would then do better to give Martin the day off.
This is an article from the June 9, 2008 issue