LAKELAND, Fla. — Victor Martinez's time in Boston was relatively short, enough for him to play in 183 games for the Red Sox. His time as a teammate with Jarrod Saltalamacchia was even shorter, just the last two months of the 2010 season.
Still, Martinez saw enough to know that Boston is in good hands with Saltalamacchia behind the plate.
"He definitely has the ability, and he's going to do good," Martinez said of the man who essentially replaces him in the lineup. "He's a hard worker, a smart guy. He's going to do good. I really believe that at this point in his career he has really matured and he's going to be good."
Much of Martinez's confidence in the young backstop is due to the fact that Jason Varitek remains in the fold. Martinez knows what the Red Sox captain can mean to someone who is trying to settle into a new job, as Martinez was when he was traded to Boston in 2009 and thrust Varitek into a reserve role.
"He's big," Martinez said of Varitek. "I won't get tired to saying it, if it wasn't for Jason when I got there it would've been way different for me. Jason helped me a lot . He's just unbelievable. You can't describe him."