Martin has become a player of fascination after "earning" an all-star bid in 2011. He certainly exploded onto the scene, going 18 for 54 (.333) in his first 16 games as a Yankee while working a .410 OBP and slugging six homers.
After April 23, Russ came back down to earth. Over the remainder of the season (109 games), Martin hit 81 for 363 (.223) and filled out the rest of his triple slash with a .310 OBP and .361 SLG. I suppose his career low .252 BAbip may correlate with a bit of bad luck finding outfield grass, so hopefully he'll recover a bit this season in that sense and his stats will rise as a result.
But it's not the offense that Girardi, Cashman and co. marvel at. Apparently Martin is a tremendous defensive catcher and has done enough for Brian Cashman to compare him to Thurman Munson. I'll refrain from further comment on that comparison.
Or perhaps Martin really can have a positive effect on pitchers and the "chemistry" is just right. Whatever the reason, the upper brass loves the man.
In case you haven't seen it yet, Duggan's chart that he posted last night is actually quite humorous.
Did Martin impress you so much as to warrant a contract extension?