Red Sox baffled by Martinez's struggles
Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The 2020 season has been a disaster for the Boston Red Sox.

It's been especially maddening for slugger J.D. Martinez, who's scuffling through the worst offensive season of his career. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff haven't found any answers.

"If we knew that, we would certainly fix it," Roenicke said, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. "It's baffling to our hitting coaches, it's baffling to us, and I'm sure it is to him also. Somehow we need to figure this out."

Martinez made the American League All-Star team and earned MVP votes in each of his first two seasons with the Red Sox, finishing fourth on the ballot in 2018. He hit .317/.392/.593 with 79 home runs, 70 doubles, and 235 RBIs in those 296 games.

It's been a much different story in 2020. By going 0-for-6 against the New York Yankees on Friday, his batting average dropped to .199, the ninth-lowest among qualified hitters in the majors. His minus-0.9 FanGraphs WAR is the worst mark in baseball.

Martinez has criticized Major League Baseball's limited use of in-game video this season. The 33-year-old said in the spring that he uses replay to analyze his swing and previous at-bats during the game as part of his preparation process, and that's no longer available to him.

Roenicke doesn't accept the loss of replay as the sole reason for his slugger's struggles.

"(It) can't cause all of this that's going on (with Martinez)," he said. "I know it doesn't help him, what he's used to, but there's more to it than just that. He's too good of a hitter to just have that bother him that much."

Martinez signed a five-year, $109.95-million contract with the Red Sox prior to the 2018 season. The deal includes an opt-out clause that would allow him to become a free agent after this season, though he recently said he wouldn't want to test the open market given the current landscape. He has another player option following the 2021 campaign.

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Red Sox baffled by Martinez's struggles
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