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Russell Martin plans to play shortstop for Canada in the World Baseball Classic

Feb 18, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Russell Martin AP AP

We heard about the possibility earlier this winter, but now it looks like it’s actually gonna happen. Or so Russell Martin tells FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi, anyway.

Martin, 30, has played nearly 1,000 games in the major leagues — not one as a shortstop. But that’s probably going to be his position when he suits up for Canada at next month’s World Baseball Classic.

“It’s hilarious, the reactions I get,” Martin said Monday at the Pirates’ spring complex. “It’s like, ‘This guy’s a catcher. He wants to play shortstop.’ ”

Martin has never played shortstop in the major leagues, but he was a shortstop and third baseman in high school and college. He has logged 75 1/3 at third base in the major leagues and two innings at second, though he hasn’t started a game in the infield since 2008 as a member of the Dodgers. Still, he wants to give it a whirl since Canada doesn’t have a shortstop with extensive major league experience. While it would be cool to see, it could leave Canada vulnerable behind the plate, as Orioles’ minor leaguer Chris Robinson is the only other catcher on the team’s provisional roster.

While Martin notes that “everybody” in Pirates’ camp is “surprised” about his intention to play shortstop, the team supports his choice to participate in the WBC and make the temporary position switch. The 30-year-old signed a two-year, $17 million contract with Pittsburgh over the winter.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    I can’t wait to See it, and laugh and laugh and laugh. Then laugh some more

    • paperlions - Feb 19, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      He really can’t be any worse at SS than Jeter is.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      Finally! A reason to watch the WBC!

  2. tomvalcke - Feb 19, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    You’ll have plenty of time to laugh while you and Team USA watch Martin in the 2nd, 3rd and final round of the WBC. Here’s a guy willing to do what it takes to help his country, and by the way, he can play SS, and you rip him? Are you by chance upset that the Yanks didn’t retain him? You’re lucky that you still have Rob Thomson.

    • yankeepunk3000 - Feb 19, 2013 at 5:32 AM

      Nope not upset that the Yankees didn’t retain him, I actually want to see what Romine can do for us. So i’m happy they let him go, I was not happy with his batting average or OBP and so on. Also why are you so sure I’m rooting for team USA?Just because I’m a Yankee fan doesn’t mean I’m rooting for USA too win. I’m rooting for Mexico my homeland. I still plan to laugh because Martin has the body of a Catcher not a shortstop, and that just gets my cracken up side ways. Oh yes, and it also made me laugh that you thought Toronto is going to move all the way to the finals? Oh that is cute. . .adorable.

  3. mrfloydpink - Feb 19, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Bet he has better range than Jeter. Even if he can’t make the jump throws.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Feb 19, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Still, he wants to give it a whirl since Canada doesn’t have a shortstop with extensive major league experience

    And he improves this situation…how?

  5. bigleagues - Feb 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    THIS will not end well.

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