Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Season Preview: Looking at the Infield

TORONTO, ON - MAY 26: Devon Travis
TORONTO, ON - MAY 26: Devon Travis /
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Russell Martin, Catcher

It was a year to forget for the Toronto Blue Jays catcher in 2017. He played just 91 games last season, the lowest amount since joining the team back in 2015.

It was a season in which Martin spent several stints on the disabled list due to shoulder and oblique issues.

Now, at 35, Martin has to do everything in his power to extend his career for as long as possible, and according to reports, he’s done exactly that. He’s added more muscle in the off-season, which should provide for more than the 13 home runs he managed last season.

Based on his projections for 2018, 17 homers and 55 RBI isn’t a return to the form he had in 2016. But it is a steady improvement over his performance in 2017. Martin should slot into the middle of the Jays lineup this year, which will give him opportunities to drive in runs.

It was a shame to see Martin’s season cut short, especially due to his ability to manage a pitching staff. He will likely get more rest in order to maximize the number of games played this season. The reduced workload should help the veteran catcher, who is still one of the best defensive catchers in baseball.

If he can manage to stay healthy in 2018, Martin will be a key piece to the Jays success.