Skip to content

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

Feb 18, 2013, 10:15 PM EST

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Twins working on a contract extension with Brian Dozier

    Mar 3, 2015, 10:10 AM EST

    Brian Dozier AP

    Dozier is making the minimum salary for this season and would then be under team control via arbitration for 2016-2018.

  2. Baseball media is rooted in public relations just as much as it is rooted in news

    Mar 3, 2015, 9:00 AM EST

    press hat

    A nice history lesson from Jack Moore at The Hardball Times.

  3. Russell Martin made a point to emulate Derek Jeter . . . and Joey Votto

    Mar 3, 2015, 8:30 AM EST

    Russell Martin Getty Images

    Reds fans may wonder why anyone would WANT to be like Votto, but everyone who doesn’t listen to Marty Brennaman knows that Votto is a pretty swell guy to emulate.

  4. Curt Schilling lowers the boom on some men tweeting threats against his daughter

    Mar 3, 2015, 7:08 AM EST

    Curt Schilling AP

    Twitter does a pretty bad job of policing threats of violence against women. Curt Schilling does a much, much better job.

  5. Nationals sign Tony Gwynn, Jr.

    Mar 2, 2015, 11:05 PM EST

    Tony Gwynn Jr. Getty Getty Images

    Gwynn will function as insurance with Jayson Werth and Nate McLouth each rehabbing from shoulder surgery.

  6. Diamondbacks to wear patch in spring training games in memory of Kayla Mueller

    Mar 2, 2015, 10:01 PM EST

    kayla patch

    Mueller died at the age of 26 last month while in captivity in Syria.

  7. Zack Wheeler isn’t a fan of defensive shifts

    Mar 2, 2015, 8:58 PM EST

    Zack Wheeler Getty Getty Images

    The Mets cut back on defensive shifts with Wheeler on the mound last season because of his concerns.

  8. Today was a good day for the Tigers

    Mar 2, 2015, 7:45 PM EST

    tigers logo Getty Images

    Some key players are making some encouraging strides on the health front.

  9. Alex Rodriguez to make Grapefruit League debut Wednesday

    Mar 2, 2015, 6:29 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    After facing a pitching machine during an intrasquad game today, Alex Rodriguez is ready for his first real-live game action since September of 2013.

  10. The Yankees have a lot of retired numbers. Other teams should try to be more like them.

    Mar 2, 2015, 4:26 PM EST

    Retired numbers

    Trammell and Whitaker in Detroit? Carter and Hernandez with the Mets?

  11. Cubs name Jon Lester as Opening Day starter

    Mar 2, 2015, 3:45 PM EST

    jon lester getty Getty Images

    Lester joined the Cubs on a six-year, $155 million deal in December.

  12. Another weird spring training injury: Corey Hart and a hot tub

    Mar 2, 2015, 1:48 PM EST

    Corey Hart AP

    Hart is attempting to resurrect his career on a one-year deal as a part-timer in Pittsburgh.

  13. Chase Utley still not recovered from January ankle injury

    Mar 2, 2015, 11:50 AM EST

    utley getty Getty Images

    GM says “they’re not going to play him for a little while.”

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Upton (2437)
  2. C. Gonzalez (2402)
  3. A. Simmons (2375)
  4. H. Bailey (2328)
  5. F. Rodriguez (2295)