How Batting Practice Discovery Could Spark Turnaround For J.D. Martinez


J.D. Martinez had a much-needed solid night at the plate Monday against the Rays.

The designated hitter went 3-for-4, including his first home run of the season, in Boston’s 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.

Despite the loss, it was a crucial night of production of Martinez, who had yet to hit an RBI since the Red Sox’s Opening day victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

And while a lack of access to the video room has contributed to the slump, it appears he’s beginning to adjust.

Prior to Boston’s second game against the Rays, Ron Roenicke revealed Martinez told his manager he “found something” to help his production at the plate.

“His batting practice yesterday was outstanding,” Roenicke told reporters during his Zoom pregame press conference. “His swing was — when he’s good, that’s what his swing was. And after BP he made the comment that he did find something that he’s been struggling to find. Last year he had a lot of trouble trying to find that one good swing that he’s used to having. (In) ’18 he had it for pretty much the whole year. So this year he’s still been searching. He had it in training camp and our second training camp and then lost it. And yesterday we saw in batting practice all of a sudden all of us that were watching was like, ‘wow that’s the J.D. we know.’ And it carried over to the games. So I would say that was the reason why we saw the good outcome. He did something mechanically a little bit different to get him to the point where he felt that’s where when he’s best, that’s where he is. … And that’s what we saw, really good at-bats from him. And hopefully that continues. …”

If Martinez can get going the way Red Sox fans have seen him in the past, then he’ll certainly be a threat when he steps in the box.

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