Girardi patient despite Martin's struggles

Girardi patient despite Martin's struggles

ST. PETERSBURG -- Despite Russell Martin's season-long struggles at the plate and his rough night behind it during Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Rays, Yankees manager Joe Girardi reiterated on Wednesday that Martin is still the club's starting catcher.

Martin owned up to his poor hitting after Tuesday's game, saying he has become overaggressive and stopped swinging at his pitch.

"If I really knew, then I probably wouldn't be struggling as much," said Martin, who entered Wednesday's series finale at Tropicana Field batting .182. "Really probably just expanding the zone a little bit too much, not being patient. I don't know when's the last time I walked, but it's normally a big part of my game."

Martin has drawn 28 walks on the year but only six since May 30, and none since June 20. That has Martin's on-base percentage at .302, more than 50 points below his career average of .355.

Girardi didn't think Martin was letting that affect him defensively, even after he committed two errors and let the Rays steal five bases on Tuesday night.

"If every time a guy had a bad night defensively you thought it was because of his offense -- they're going to have bad nights defensively, too," Girardi said. "I don't think he's carrying it over, no."

"I haven't been really good all year offensively," added Martin. "I've always been able to kind of separate those. It's even more frustrating when you're not doing either, and [Tuesday] was one of those days."