Octavio Martinez hired by Washington Nationals as bullpen catcher
Former Revolution catcher and Atlantic League veteran Octavio Martinez was like countless other players; he battled the odds through a long minor league career including time at Triple-A, but never received the call to the big leagues. While his playing days may technically be over, Martinez will now get to live the big league lifestyle that eluded all of those other players.
After catching in 83 games last year for the Sugar Land Skeeters, Martinez has been hired by the Washington Nationals as their bullpen catcher. If you go to a game, home or road involving the Nationals this season, you’ll see Octavio suited up and rubbing elbows with the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and oh, let’s say Roger Bernadina along with the rest of the defending National League East Champions. In the Majors, the bullpen catcher is a signifcant part of a team’s coaching staff, and truly helps out in all areas in addition to catching bullpens pre-game and during the game.
Not to put words in Octavio’s mouth or anything, but it’s hard to imagine a better post-playing career job. It’s hard to say he’s retired considering he’ll be breaking a sweat at the ballpark everyday, and his expertise after 14 professional seasons behind the plate will be of good use to the Nationals pitching staff.
Originally drafted by the Orioles out of Bakersfield College in 1999, Martinez was with the O’s through the 2005 season. He spent 2006 with the Pirates and 2007 with the Dodgers, and garnered Triple-A time with Baltimore and L.A. He played in the Atlantic League from 2009-on, spending a full season with Southern Maryland before being traded to Lancaster mid-way through 2010. In 2011 he signed with York and spent the entire season with the Revolution, before being selected by the Sugar Land Skeeters in the 2012 expansion draft. It’s been a pretty good 12 months for Octavio, who also had the opportunity to catch Roger Clemens on national TV with Sugar Land last August.
In 2011, Martinez was unfairly ridiculed by his York teammates for his lone home run of the season being wind-aided at Long Island. Now would be a good time to point out that he has 23 career home runs. And since the Nationals are probably going to win the World Series this year, he’ll have a big fat World Series ring to put next to his 2011 Atlantic League Championship ring.
In addition to your day-trip to D.C. to catch Octavio in the big leagues, here are Washington’s games in Philadelphia and Baltimore:
May 29-30 @ Baltimore
June 17-19 @ Philadelphia
July 8-10 @ Philadelphia
September 2-4 @ Philadelphia