New Yankees catcher Russell Martin said Tuesday he is not quite 100 percent yet after right knee surgery, but he'll be ready for Opening Day.This may does not strike me as terribly newsworthy, simply due to the fact that it was sort of expected. The season is still nearly two months away and it seems as if Martin is working very hard to get in-shape, and that's what really matters - a healthy and motivated Martin will make the offense and defense significantly better.
"I think I'll be ready for the season, for sure," Martin said at the Yankees' minor-league complex. "I can't predict the future, but I feel pretty good right now."
The Yankees signed Martin to a one-year, $4 million deal in December to replace Jorge Posada as the starting catcher. During his physical with the team, they found a slight tear in his right meniscus. He had surgery just before Christmas, and said he still does not have a full range of motion.
He plans on catching for the first time since the surgery Wednesday to test the knee. The knee problem came after a hip injury ended his 2010 season in August. Martin said he has not been able to test the hip, but it already felt better before he had the knee surgery.
"My goal from now is until the season is to strengthen that right side of my leg," Martin said.
Martin, who turns 28 next week, is coming off two disappointing seasons with the Dodgers. Martin changed his offseason training routine this year, doing an MMA-style workout. He feels like the work has paid off and said he is 15 pounds lighter than he was last year.
"I feel in shape," Martin said. "Last year, I was trying to gain a little bit of weight and have more power. This year, I feel like I lost weight and I have more power. I'm really not even thinking about hitting home runs. I just want to make solid contact and simplify my approach. I'm just having fun out there. I think this year I'm going to have a little bit more fun than I did the last couple of years."
The Yankees immediately named Martin the starting catcher when he signed, but he still feels like he has to earn the job.
"They said I was going to come in and be the starter or whatever, but whether they say that, you have to prove yourself out there," Martin said. "I have to prove myself to the pitchers. The guys are going to have to like throwing to me. If they don't like throwing to me, I'm not going to catch. That's the way I see it. My goal is to just study them, study the hitters we're going to be facing. That's the big thing for me is coming in this year and having to catch a bunch of guys I haven't caught before."
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
As per Brian Costello: