02/08/11 5:25 PM EST
Martin ready to test knee at Yankees' complex
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Martin, who turns 28 next week, told reporters at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Fla., that he will resume catching drills on Wednesday, his first time doing so since having a meniscus tear in his right knee repaired.
"I think I'll be ready for the season, for sure," Martin said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. "I'm not completely 100 percent. [I] still have some range of motion left in knee [to work on]."
A two-time National League All-Star with the Dodgers, Martin has been taking batting practice and throwing at the Yankees' Himes Avenue complex since late January. New York's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Monday.
After setting career lows last season with a .248 average, five homers and 26 RBIs in 97 games with Los Angeles, Martin turned down an offer to return to the Dodgers for a change of venue with the Yankees.
New York general manager Brian Cashman has said that Martin is projected as the team's Opening Day catcher. His season ended prematurely on Aug. 3, when he broke his right hip and tore his shoulder during a game against the Padres.
"Even before I hurt my knee, my hip was doing pretty good," Martin said. "I'm not really concerned with the hip. Obviously with the knee I had to take it easy on my whole right side, so my goal from now until the season is to strengthen that right side."
With Martin on the roster, the Yankees have informed Jorge Posada that he will be reporting to camp as a designated hitter, although the 39-year-old Posada said that he is training as usual and believes he may catch at some point this year.
The Yankees want to have a trio of young backstops compete to be Martin's understudy, with Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine all in line for a reserve role. Still, Martin said on Tuesday that he feels like he needs to earn the job.
The 21-year-old Montero, one of the game's top position player prospects, was briefly considered the favorite to be New York's starting catcher before Martin signed in December.
"I want to be with the team this year," Montero said on Tuesday. "I want to show everybody I can catch."
Martin said in December that he was looking for a new workout regimen and has appeared to have found one that works for him, claiming that he has lost 15 pounds in part by following a program utilized by mixed martial arts athletes.
"I wasn't getting into the ring and fighting guys, it was more how they condition," Martin said. "A lot of power endurance stuff; high intensity work with short recovery time. Just taking swings [in batting practice], I never get tired, so I really don't get into bad habits."
Martin inked a one-year, $4 million contract in December. He can earn an additional $1,375,000 in performance bonuses under his Yankees deal for games played at catcher: $50,000 each for 30 and 35, and $75,000 apiece for 40 and each additional five through 120.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.