Here’s one way J.D. Martinez is like most other people: rust bother him.
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter revealed to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato on Wednesday he “hates” spring training because he struggles to hit the offerings of pitchers, who inevitably enter preseason sharper than he does. Martinez’s .256 batting average and .774 OPS in his spring-training career are considerably lower than his .294 and .894 career marks in the regular season, respectively. His competitive instincts have soured him on grind February and March represent for most Major League Baseball players.
“I hate spring training,” Martinez said, per Mastrodonato. “You go out there and it’s like, ‘how do I hit again?’ You’re so lost.
“I was talking to the pitchers today, I’m like, ‘you guys probably come in here and feel good.’ They’re like, ‘yeah, making these guys look dumb.’ They’re making everybody look foolish at the plate and we’re sitting there wondering how they heck we’re going to hit.”
Martinez blames his spring-training woes on his swing and says he doesn’t feel good at the plate until “the last two weeks” of Grapefruit League play.
” … My swing is long,” he continued. “I’m different, man. Some guys come in, these young guys, every spring they come out and they’re hitting home runs every other night. And I’m like, ‘how the heck do you do that?’ I don’t get it. I just look awful. I’m not a spring player.”
Martinez insists fans should take comfort if he endures a miserable stint in and around Fort Myers, Fla.
“Even my friends make fun of me in my group chat,” Martinez concluded. “They’re like, ‘I can’t wait to see J.D. go 2-for-40 this spring.’ That’s how I know it’s going to be a good year.”
The Red Sox will open their spring-training schedule Saturday when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Martinez is chief among those who don’t expect him to bash right away.
Thumbnail photo via Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports Images