The travails of Podsednik and Martin

Catching up with two expatriates …

Here’s the first interview I’ve seen with Scott Podsednik since his offseason went south (non-geographically speaking). From the Canadian Press:

Scott Podsednik’s spring is not off to an ideal start, far from it, but at least he can take some solace in knowing that other years have also started poorly and turned out fine.

Like 2009, for instance.

“It’s a crazy game,” he said Wednesday after checking into camp with the Toronto Blue Jays. “A couple of years ago I was sitting on my couch at the start of the ’09 season, so anything can happen.

“I’ve learned over the years to just kind of focus on the things you can control, and all I can control is trying to get myself ready and playing my game in between the lines. Anything outside of that is not up to my decision, so I’m going to try to focus all my energy on things I can control.”

A sound approach and, given the circumstances, a wise one for the speed demon and former all-star.

Podsednik arrived in camp on a minor-league contract signed last week, the best deal for him after an off-season that didn’t play out anything like what he expected.

In November, he declined his end of a US$2-million mutual contract option for 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and opted for free agency. It backfired since “for whatever reason my market just didn’t develop,” said Podsednik. …

Then there’s Russell Martin, who is not as ready for game action as he and the Yankees thought he would be.  From Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com:

The Yankees signed Russell Martin to be their everyday catcher, but he won’t be behind the plate when they open their exhibition season Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.“I don’t think he’s quite ready to go and I’m not going to rush him,” manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “He still talks about [his knee] doesn’t quite feel the same as it did before. I told him, I want to know when you’re 100 percent. Because I don’t want any setbacks with him. When I put him in, I want him to be ready to go.”

The 28-year-old Martin passed a physical before signing a one-year, $4 million contract in December to replace Jorge Posada behind the plate. But within a matter of days, it was announced he would undergo surgery to repair “a small meniscus tear” in his right knee, the same surgery both Posada and CC Sabathia underwent in the offseason.

At the time, general manager Brian Cashman said, “It’s not a serious surgery at all,” that Martin’s recovery would take two to three weeks and that the catcher would be “back to normal within a month.”But now, nine weeks after the surgery, Martin is still feeling discomfort. Worse, on Wednesday, he added three ominous letters to the mix: MCL, as in medial collateral ligament.

“I injured my MCL in the offseason,” Martin said. “But the surgery wasn’t for the MCL, it was for the meniscus. When they looked at my knee they saw that I had a meniscus issue as well, so in the time it would take for the MCL to heal, the surgery would heal, so they might as well do it. It was just a prevention type thing.”

Whatever the real extent of the injury, it has so far prevented Martin from participating in the full range of catching drills — he has not taken part in blocking drills yet — and will keep him out of the first spring training game at least. …

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