Red Sox’s Alex Cora Explains How J.D. Martinez Can Get Groove Back

Martinez is batting .132 since the All-Star break


August 10

J.D. Martinez has been in a slump since the All-Star break, but Alex Cora is confident the designated hitter can return to form.

The Red Sox manager was asked after Wednesday’s loss to the Atlanta Braves about Martinez’s struggles at the plate. Since the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which Martinez participated in, the 34-year-old has batted 7-for-53 (.132) with six RBIs through 14 games. Cora spoke on Martinez’s approach at the plate.

“In the end, we can talk mechanics and all that, but we need to swing at strikes,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We’re chasing a lot of pitches. When you don’t swing in the zone, that’s what’s gonna happen. He expanded with a sinker in a few times, struck out with a breaking ball down and then extended with with the double play. We can talk all about mechanics and work, as hard as he does, but the swing decisions have to be better. He needs to make sure he gets them in the zone.

“We talked a little bit about it yesterday, he’s still J.D. Martinez. You saw Charlie Morton, what he did, he expanded, and he expanded with him. Just get back in the zone and put good swings there. If not, take your walks. When they’re struggling like that, walks are gonna get you back to who you are, and that’s what we need to do.”

After the loss to the Braves on Wednesday, the Red Sox stand five games back in the American League Wild Card race. Boston will likely need improved play from its bullpen and Martinez to make a return to the postseason.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora
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