BRADENTON, Fla. -- Before an out was recorded in the first inning, New York Yankees runners had three stolen bases on their former catcher, Russell Martin, and wound up with four steals while he was in the game, an 11-9 Pirates loss at McKechnie Field.
Bases, however, may not have been the only things being stolen by the Yankees. At one point during Phil Irwin's start, Martin had a long mound conversation with the rookie about his signs getting picked up by runners on second.
"Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. Maybe [they were] picking up the location," said Martin, nonplussed. "We're going with really simple signs, right now. Teams practice the way they'll play during the season, and teams do do that. The only way for us to counter is just by being prepared, so it doesn't become an issue. So this is also the time for us to make adjustments."
In other words, an extension of the good, old, "That's what Spring Training is for," advisory.
As for the steals -- Eduardo Nunez had two, including a double steal with Brennan Boesch, and Melky Mesa had another -- Martin turned the other cheek, virtually gratefully.
"I'm glad they were running, because I finally got in some throwing," said Martin, who missed two weeks of catching activity with a sore shoulder. "They weren't running on me, they were running on the team.
"You can't be more confident than me behind the plate when it comes to throwing guys out. I know I have a really good arm, and I'm as quick as all get-out."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.