Former Dodgers Catcher Russell Martin Excited To Join Team Canada Coaching Staff For 2023 World Baseball Classic

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have several representatives in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which is set to return on March 7, 2023 after a two-year postponement.

While rosters haven’t been finalized yet, Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Will Smith are expected to play for Team USA, and third base coach Dino Ebel will serve in the same role as well. Julio Urías will also pitch for Team Mexico and Freddie Freeman committed to join Team Canada.

Former Dodgers catcher Russell Martin will be part of manager Ernie Whitt’s coaching staff for Team Canada and compared it to his rookie season in 2006, per Mike Wilner of the Toronto Star:

“It’s like I’m throwing myself into being a rookie again,” said Martin, the 14-year major leaguer who helped guide the Jays to the post-season in 2015 and ’16. “I’ll be doing something that I’ve never really done, but I get to share a little bit of the knowledge that I’ve acquired and help out the future. And I get to put on a uniform; haven’t done that in a while.”

Martin specifically will be tasked with helping Cleveland Guardians catcher Bo Naylor, the younger brother of Josh, plan for games:

“Game planning,” said Martin. “(I can) help out with, ‘How do we get this guy out?’ or ‘We’re not going to take on this guy.’ If the catcher has questions on game strategy, or maybe a couple of different techniques receiving-wise, whatever I can help out with, I want to help out with.”

Martin was widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers during his 14-year MLB career, which began with the Dodgers. He remained with the organization through the 2010 season before reaching free agency after getting non-tendered.

Martin went on to play two seasons apiece with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. He then returned to his native Canada by playing for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Martin’s career came full circle prior to the 2019 season when the Blue Jays traded him to the Dodgers for Minor Leaguers ronny Brito and Andrew Sopko. It wound up being his final year in the Majors, as he announced his retirement last May.

Russell Martin among former Dodgers who retired

Martin joined Albert Pujols, Adrián González, Drew Butera, Edwin Jackson and Tony Watson as former Dodgers who retired over recent months. Jeren Kendall, who was taken by the team in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, also retired.

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