By Jim Colony

BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 The Fan) — Pirates catcher Russell Martin had been a relatively passive newcomer due to shoulder soreness that kept him out of the line-up for a while.

But now that Martin is back behind the plate, he’s feeling more a part of his new team.

“I feel comfortable (here),” Martin said. “It’s just a good bunch of guys that really want to work and make each other better.”

Martin, who is entering his eighth major league season, also isn’t afraid to speak up, even though it’s his first year with the Pirates.

“If I notice something, I’ll say something to a player, even coaches,” says Martin. “They may not agree with me, but I’d rather speak up than say nothing and regret it later.”

Martin didn’t know much about most of the Pittsburgh pitchers before, but he’s very pleasantly surprised.

“I’ve been impressed with the amount of arms in camp,” Martin said, gesturing to the pitchers’ rows of lockers. “I like the work ethic from the coaching staff down to the players. Everybody wants to get better, realizes they have to get better and that’s a good attitude to have.”

Martin also wants to be a catalyst to end this seemingly endless cycle of losing seasons, especially after a second straight late-season collapse.

“I think guys are maybe a little bit (ticked) off to have that label,” Martin’s said. “It’s just of matter of putting what happened in the past and move forward.”

Martin also enjoys working with one of our Fan Morning Show favorites, Ray Searage.

“Ray is passionate about his job and really cares about his players,” says Martin. “To me that goes along way.”

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