Chris Stewart went 2 for 4 in the Yankees’ win over the Detroit Tigers today, which begs the question, “should Stewart start seeing more playing time over the under achieving Russell Martin?”
Martin, who in 273 plate appearances is hitting an anemic .194, has seen his production plummet ever since his all-star season of 2007. Back in 2007, Martin, hit .293 with 19 home runs, 87 R.B.I.s and 21 stolen bases. Through 89 games this season Martin is hitting just .194 with 12 homers, 31 R.B.I.s and 3 stolen bases. Since 2007, Martin has seen his average steadily decline, similar with his On-Base-Percentage since 2008 each passing season Martin’s OBP falls.
Out of the 13 American League catchers, that have had a minimum of 200 plate appearances, Martin ranks 10th with his .308 OBP. Martin is second to last in R.B.I.s but the one statistic that is shouldn’t be overlooked is that Martin is hitting just .206 when he puts the ball in play. Joe Mauer on the other hand is hitting .358 when he connects, which is tops among AL catchers.
Chris Stewart has been the definition of a back-up catcher, the most games he has ever played in was 67 and that came last year with the Giants. Stewart, in his limited time this season has hit .269 in 117 plate appearances. Stewart’s role this season has mainly been CC Sabathia’s personal catcher. However, after calling a good game today with Hiroki Kuroda on the bump, it might be time for the Yankee brass to consider a shake-up of their everyday lineup. It would behoove the Yankees to see what Stewart can do with a heavier workload since the playoffs are just down the road and the team already knows what kind of production Martin is going to give the them.