Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Brewers fire manager Ron Roenicke

    May 3, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Ron Roenicke Ron Roenicke

    Ron Roenicke is the first casualty of the Brewers’ poor start to the season.

  2. Twins thinking about using Joe Mauer in the leadoff spot

    May 3, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Joe Mauer Joe Mauer

    Would Joe Mauer better serve the Twins in the leadoff spot?

  3. Jose Abreu sticks up for manager Robin Ventura

    May 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Robin Ventura Robin Ventura

    White Sox manager Robin Ventura has taken some heat for the team’s slow start, but first baseman Jose Abreu stuck up for him.

  4. Jean Segura was hit in the head by a Pedro Strop fastball

    May 3, 2015, 8:15 PM EDT

    Jean Segura Jean Segura

    Jean Segura was hit in the head by a pitch attempting to bunt. Thankfully, he appears to be okay.

  5. The Cardinals walk off winners against the Pirates for the third game in a row

    May 3, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Kolten Wong Kolten Wong

    The Cardinals won again in walk-off fashion and now own baseball’s best record.

  6. Tyler Lyons gets the next shot at replacing Adam Wainwright in Cardinals’ starting rotation

    May 3, 2015, 5:14 PM EDT

    tyler lyons getty Getty Images

    Lyons has served as a spot starter and long reliever for the Cardinals at various points over the last two seasons. He owns an ugly 4.62 ERA in 89 2/3 career major league innings, but his 1.216 career WHIP and 7.9 career K/9 aren’t too bad-looking.

  7. White Sox sign Tyler Colvin to minor league deal

    May 3, 2015, 4:28 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.09.00 PM Getty Images

    Colvin opted out of his minor league deal with the Marlins at the end of spring training after failing to make the Opening Day roster and spent a month looking for a new gig.

  8. Video: Trevor Plouffe slugs first career grand slam

    May 3, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    plouffe getty Getty Images

    That was the first career grand slam for Plouffe. The 28-year-old third baseman also homered in Saturday’s 5-3 win over the visiting White Sox and now has five home runs on the young season.

  9. Cubs claim Anthony Varvaro off waivers from Red Sox

    May 3, 2015, 2:53 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.22.45 PM Getty Images

    Varvaro was designated for assignment by Boston on April 29 after struggling badly in three straight relief appearances. He was very good in 2014 with the Braves …

  10. Adam Eaton out third straight day with illness

    May 3, 2015, 2:16 PM EDT

    adam eaton getty Getty Images

    He was actually sent back to Chicago on Saturday while the team finishes up a four-game series at Minnesota’s Target Field.

  11. Jordan Walden lands on disabled list with biceps injury

    May 3, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    walden getty Getty Images

    Walden felt discomfort in his right arm while warming up on Saturday afternoon. He told reporters after Saturday’s game that he’s not concerned, but it’s a scary situation for the Cardinals given how well the 27-year-old setup man pitched in April.

  12. Matt Moore set to face live hitters for the first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery

    May 3, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 9.55.47 AM Getty Images

    Moore is scheduled throw around 20 pitches to his Tampa Bay teammates before their series finale on Sunday afternoon against the Orioles.

  13. Michael Bourn back in Indians’ lineup on Sunday

    May 3, 2015, 11:43 AM EDT

    bourn getty Getty Images

    Veteran outfielder Michael Bourn was held out of the Indians’ starting lineup on Saturday with what was called a cervical strain. That sounded like a pretty serious injury, but all appears to be fine …

  14. Rays place outfielder Desmond Jennings on 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his left knee

    May 3, 2015, 10:51 AM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 9.21.28 AM Getty Images

    It was a very disappointing April for Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who hit .222/.306/.238 in 18 games. And now his May is off to a rough start too.

  15. Video: Jake Marisnick climbs Tal’s Hill, makes great grab

    May 3, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    Screenshot 2015-05-03 at 1.02.46 AM Getty Images

    Marisnick is also getting it done at the plate for the Astros, who are on a nine-game winning streak and have opened a six-game lead over the Angels in the American League West standings.

  16. Another game ended on a batted ball hitting a runner

    May 3, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT

    howie kendrick getty Getty Images

    First it was the Giants beating the Angels when Kole Calhoun’s hard grounder to the right side of the infield struck Taylor Featherston. A few hours later, the Dodgers won in similar fashion …

  17. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    May 3, 2015, 8:32 AM EDT

    cardinals getty Getty Images

    For the second consecutive day, the Cardinals took down the visiting Pirates on an extra-inning walkoff.

  18. FOX Sports San Diego has been doing a good job with their “Keys to the Game”

    May 2, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Justin Upton, Bud Black Justin Upton, Bud Black

    Are those “Keys to the Game” segments getting stale? FOX Sports San Diego put a fresh spin on it.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4251)
  2. A. Rendon (3374)
  3. A. Colome (3220)
  4. J. Lowrie (3098)
  5. C. Gomez (2974)
  1. D. Jennings (2874)
  2. A. Ottavino (2771)
  3. D. Span (2767)
  4. J. Marisnick (2733)
  5. D. Wright (2706)