The Dodgers are headed to Pittsburgh for a three-game series that features ex-Dodger catcher Russell Martin, who has found success in his first season playing for the Pirates.
Martin has put up numbers that rival what he did for Los Angeles.
Russell Martin broke into the league in 2006 with a class of Dodger rookies that soon became the face of the organization: Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley and James Loney.
His best season in Los Angeles was 2007, hitting .293/.374/.469 with 19 home runs, 87 RBI, 32 doubles, and 21 stolen bases. In his five seasons with the team, he averaged .272/.365/.396, with two All-Star Game appearances.
In 2010, Martin missed the last 60 games of the season with a labrum tear in his hip, and the Dodgers non-tendered him in the offseason. Martin signed a pair of one-year deals with the Yankees in 2011 and 2012, before Pittsburgh offered him a two-year $17 million contract for the 2013 offseason.
His first season in Pittsburgh has gone well -- he is hitting better than he has in a few years. He started the season 4-44, but since April 18th he has a line of .294/.377/.515 with seven home runs, and nine doubles.
His .773 OPS is better than his five-year average in Los Angeles and almost 70 points higher than the 2013 league average.
Martin returned to Los Angeles in April for his first time facing the Dodgers since he left in 2010, and went 0-4 with two walks in two games.
It is always interesting to face a former Dodger, especially one that was a fan favorite such as Russell Martin. While he has been replaced by A.J. Ellis in the mind of fans, there are still plenty of memories of him.
A prominent one of mine was being at the stadium for Russell Martin's walk-off grand slam in extra innings. It just so happens that home run was against the Pirates.
Out of the 49 Dodgers to play in 2010, only nine are left. It is interesting to see how much the roster has changed since Martin left.
The Dodgers have the day off on Thursday, their first in 20 games, before beginning the series in Pittsburgh. The Dodgers have Stephen Fife, Clayton Kershaw, and Zach Greinke scheduled to face A.J. Burnett, Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole.