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Newcomer Martin offers high praise for pitching staff


BRADENTON, Fla. -- Russell Martin's first impression of Pirates pitchers was a jaw-dropper.

"This is the first time I've seen so many live arms in one camp, and I've been to nine of them," the Bucs' new catcher said following a blustery workout at Pirate City.

This was quite a commentary coming from someone who spent the first phase of his career with the traditionally pitching-rich Dodgers and the last two years with the Yankees' best-money-can-buy staff.

But Martin, in a crash course to familiarize himself with his inherited staff, has had his head turned.

"Everyone's got really live arms," he said. "This is good stuff. It's impressive. I'm impressed. I don't think guys on the team even realize what they have right now."

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