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Replacements making Russell Martin's disappointing season look pretty good right now

August 16, 2010 |  7:09 am
Now, let’s see, all those of you bemoaning Russell Martin’s production and wanting him outta Dodge on the next train … how do you feel now?

It’s been 11 games since Martin went down with his injured hip, and even if his production was seriously disappointing this year (.248, five home runs, 26 RBI), it’s looking pretty decent right now by comparison.

Catchers Brad Ausmus and A.J. Ellis are a combined 4-for-37 (.104) with no home runs and one RBI in Martin’s stead.

Now, no one realistically expected them to offer improved offense from the catching position, but 11 games in and it’s been almost nonexistent.

And the thing is, the Dodgers aren’t really expecting anything much different as they close out the season.

"Our offense from the catcher's spot has been very light," manager Joe Torre said.

"I don't see any way it's going to change. I'm not going to say we're not going to get a hit or knock in a run, but it's not the threat that Russell gave you."

Ausmus is 41 and coming off back surgery, performed in April. Ellis is a 29-year-old rookie.

And there’s really nothing in the system to give a shot. Lucas May, who was a shortstop until 2007, could hit but wasn’t deemed ready to handle a major-league staff and was traded for Scott Podsednik.

Now, the No.1 catcher at triple-A Albuquerque is J.D. Closser, who is also light-hitting and 30 years old.

Russell also had his issues behind the plate, but in the last 11 games, his replacements have yet to throw out one of 10 base stealers.

Almost the entire offense is struggling, but don’t look for any dramatic improvement from the catcher’s position. And, oh yeah, Martin is expected to be out for the rest of the year.

How do you like me now?

-- Steve Dilbeck
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