Nick Martini continue to proves the doubters wrong as he remains Reds fixture

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Martini
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Martini / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Nick Martini's inclusion on the Cincinnati Reds roster was called into question last month. Why not Tony Kemp? Why not Mike Ford? Maybe even Jacob Hurtubise made more sense, right? Nope, manager David Bell hitched his wagon to Martini.

Martini helped justify Bell's decision by getting off to a hot start on Opening Day. The Reds designated hitter mashed two homers that day against the Washington Nationals and finished the series hitting .500/.556/.1.375 with three extra-base hits and seven RBI. Over the next six games, however, Martini went 1-for-13 with his lone hit being a single, and it seemed as though the shine had worn off.

But, in typical Martini-fashion, the veteran slugger started two games over the weekend in Chicago and went 4-for-10 with a triple and a home run (this time off a left-handed pitcher). It's time to admit that Martini has earned a secure spot on this Reds roster.

Nick Martini continue to proves the doubters wrong as he remains Reds fixture

Does that mean Martini should be starting every game? When there's a right-handed pitcher on the bump, it's hard to argue otherwise. Martini is hitting .571 with a 1.287 slugging percentage against right-handers. Martini unequivocally belongs in the Reds lineup whenever a right-handed hurler toes the rubber.

In fact, it may even behoove Bell to give Christian Encarnacion-Strand a night off and allow Martini to play first base in his stead. The trio of opposing pitchers the Reds will face during their series against the Seattle Mariners are all right-handed. Encarnacion-Strand is hitting just .185 this season, so perhaps the Reds skipper will be able to give the 24-year-old an off-day sometime this week.

Martini, much like Jeimer Candelario, Luke Maile, and Frankie Montas has taken on a leadership role this season. Martini is well liked in the clubhouse and, so far, has brought his A-game to the field as well.

If Martini hits a speed bump later this season, the 33-year-old slugger has minor-league options remaining. For those who were skeptical, myself included, it's time to stop doubting Martini's role on this year's Reds team.

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