February 25, 2013
Russell Martin pulling out of WBC is big deal to Canuck teammates
By BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

Pirates catcher Russell Martin (centre) said he wouldn't play for Canada at the World Baseball Classic unless he could play shortstop. (Reuters)

DUNEDIN, FLA. - Catcher Russell Martin not playing for Team Canada — unless he could play shortstop — was a surprise to Canadian players.

“It’s not like ‘I’ll be there next year,’ this tournament happens every four years,” said Adam Loewen, who will play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic next month. “This is a big deal.

“You can get hurt anywhere. I did everything right: Pitch counts, propers mechanics. It still didn’t stop me from getting two stress fractures.”

Drafted fourth overall in North America as a left-handed pitcher, Loewen has been re-born as a left fielder. Although, when the season starts, he’ll likely play first base at double-A New Hampshire.

“It’s always good to have an established player like Russell behind the plate,” said Loewen of Martin, a seven-year veteran who has made three all-star appearances. “It will hurt our lineup over all.”



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