Red Sox outfielder/DH J.D. Martinez needs to heat up soon

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 1: J.D. Martinez /

The Boston Red Sox invested $110 million over five seasons on free agent new comer J.D. Martinez who has not been producing. What needs to change?

Boston Red Sox fans from across the nation were excited at the prospect of signing J.D. Martinez before the season started. Then the rumors were swirling that he was going to sign followed by a prolonged period of time where he did not sign. Anxiety and being let down were common feelings along with sense of disappointment after the rival Yankees got Giancarlo Stanton. What was it going to take to sign Martinez? A huge pay day was completely out of the question.

Martinez was hyped because of a strong showing in Arizona. Super agent Scott Boras wanted to get his client his due but it was not going to be in the amount of $150 million spread out over five seasons. That was just simply put, not going to happen. Not with dead money contracts still owed until the 2020 season has come to an end. The onus of fixing the problems should not have fallen in Dave Dombrowski’s lap entirely. He needed some time to fix the issues.

Adding Martinez was supposed to fix that problem. Martinez in 15 spring training games managed 15 hits slashing a .319/0/7/0 line. He added an additional seven walks and five strike outs in those 47 at bats. Of those hits, four were doubles and one was a triple. No home runs. With a salary of $23.75 million due this season, only David Price will make more at a cool $30 million.

Martinez in 2018

With the amount of money due to Martinez, seven hits in 27 at bats is far from a fair sample size. There are still some numbers that raise flags. Martinez has two extra-base hits and only four RBI’s. The home run and two of those four RBI’s came in yesterday’s game. The Red Sox have had seven home runs this season. Again, almost half of those coming in the last game alone.

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Could his not showing up for the full spring training be part of the problem? Could playing in the colder weather present further issues? Was his most recent game a sign of the tide turning? Fans have got to be hopeful. The Red Sox are 7-1 to start the season including wins in each of their last seven games.

No one is impressed with what they have seen so far and who could blame them? Fans in certain major cities have resorted to booing their star players which has not happened in Boston. Not yet. If Martinez can make tweaks and lower his strikeout percentage, we could see something great in Bean Town. Striking out nine out of 27 at bats is not going to get the job done.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts in comparison has had eight more at-bats and two fewer strikeouts. Yes, it is only one statistic but still, Bogey is doing more with his opportunities. Bogaerts is striking out in just 20% of his at bats. Martinez in the end needs to lead in the offensive categories, not in K’s.

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Time will tell if he can make the adjustments necessary to succeed in New England. Fans certainly can’t wait for the home runs to come at a more frequent pace.