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2.20.2009

They say it's cold, I say it's Marte's current hitting status

Nino Colla | Friday, February 20, 2009 | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Cold.

I refer to it as Marte's current hitting status.

I hope you get the joke, If not I might kill myself.

They say it's going to be "frigid" on Monday. Whatever that means here in Ohio. Frigid hitting Marte, which sounds like it's worse than cold.

If an average of .100 is cold

Frigid has to be like .050.

That's way below Mendoza.

Now that we've ironed out the weather outside and how it relates to the recently DFAed Andy Marte.

It's Marte-Day.

Everyone can step to the front and talk about him and how much of a failure he was. Because he was.

Terry Pluto starts it off..

And really, can you blame him? Considering most of the people around said, holy crap, this kid was a top prospect for the Braves.

Pluto pointed out all the numbers, plus the defensive recognition, he was can't miss and he was THEE number one prospect for the Braves.

And we got Coco Crisp for him? I love Coco Crisp, but he's a speedy outfielder that tried to do too much with the bat.

This kid KNEW how to do a lot with the bat.. Or so we thought.

All the projections were ... wrong.

He had a .506 slugging percentage, a .372 on base for Richmond in 2005, giving him an impressive .878 OPS.

In 2004, he was voted the top prospect in the Class AA Southern League.

The Can't Miss Kid missed, and missed a lot.

The Indians gave him 164 at bats in 2006, he batted .226 with .701 OPS.

They gave him 235 at bats last season, and he hit .221 with terrible .573 OPS.

In between, he was in Buffalo long enough to run for mayor.

No matter if you look at his stats with the Tribe or in Class AAA -- he has been getting worse, not better.

Like Pluto said, he based what he thought on the trade off numbers, like most of us did. We based it off what scouts and places like Baseball America said, because who outside of Richmond and Atlanta watched him on a daily basis? Even those two places are a stretch, Atlanta more than Richmond.

Look, he could do it. He's still 25, like Pluto says, he's still very young, he could figure it out. But it won't be with Cleveland, unless he magically passes through waivers.

Which I won't buy.. I just don't.. People say who is going to want to take a chance on him.

Who's going to want to take a chance on Bryan Bullington? Right? Wrong.. Toronto did.. If Bryan Bullington, who hasn't worked out with the two organizations he's been with, gets a third chance, Andy Marte is going to get a second chance.

The suitors are already lining up.

If the Indians can trade him, they probably will, but not not the Twins, even if they are interested, which appears to be not the case. He could end up with the Giants, who are looking to add a third baseman.

I can't see him going unclaimed, I really can't. It'd be nice to send him down to Columbus, release Aubrey and use Marte as the backup 1B/3b and maybe DH and see if he can work something out in someway, but really. Come on now. Like I said yesterday, excuses are up and it doesn't matter anymore. His work-ethic sucks.

The writing was on the wall for him as well, so you know if he gets a shot to go elsewhere, he's going elsewhere, as Castrovince put it, Marte was the first guy out if another was coming in.

Now the focus shifts to two people.

The guy Marte was dumped for, and the guy who we hope will make us forget about him.

Start with Juan Salas.

Salas is immediately added to the mix for the final bullpen spot and if he doesn't win that, there is some upside, even though he's 30 and appears to be nothing more than a Quad-A player.
"He's in the mix for the bullpen," Wedge said of Salas. "We've got to look at him, see where he's at and go from there."
He's got an option left. So he can be sent down to Columbus if he doesn't win the final spot. The report on him is this.

Juan Salas - RHP

  • Age: 30 Years Old
  • Best Pitch: Fastball
  • Scouting Reports: Sportsnet.ca
  • Acquired By Tampa: non-drafted Free Agent in 1998
  • ML Debut: 2006
  • Suspended for Steroids in 2007
  • Converted Infielder
  • Spent time on restricted list for visa problems in 2008
So that's Juan Salas. From what I've read he has a good fastball and slider and if you look up his minor league numbers they are pretty good. The steroid thing is there, but it's not like we haven't picked up a relief pitcher busted for it in the past.

Either way. He's Juan Salas, he'll be in the same realm of Rick Bauer and Danny Graves.

The more important piece to this puzzle is Wes Hodges, who is now officially the third baseman of the future, hopefully. To celebrate, you can view a video there.



Marte's impending departure is good news for Hodges.
"Wes is going to play third base at Columbus," said Tribe General Manager Mark Shapiro. "Andy, if we get him back, will play third, first and DH."
It's the Wes Hodges show and he doesn't have to worry about anyone in front of him. Mark DeRosa is the third baseman for this and beyond that is a question of what Wes does. His hitting is said to be on track, maybe even a little ahead, but his defense is behind. He'll start the year in Columbus and making working on his glove the priority.

Hodges feels he's ready though and now with Marte officially given up on, Hodges has to show he can do what Marte didn't do. If he does that, people won't care if Marte goes on to hit 20 home runs for another team, or they might. But clearly the chances here have dried up for him, the Indians need to move on.

Let's focus on DeRosa though, he's the third baseman for this year and he's already establishing himself as one of the favorites of Eric Wedge, who might be getting over his crush on Casey Blake
"There's a lot of similarities between those two guys," Wedge said.
He's a grinder, right Wedge?
"He's a strong makeup guy," Wedge said. "I think you can appreciate him on paper, but when you bring in the day-to-day and the guy he is, it's two-fold. You double that."
He didn't say it, but he meant it. He implied it.. Damnit...

The Marte thing also brings to light a third person. Kelly Shoppach, the guy Marte was traded with. He makes the trade not bad because of what he's done. Considering Josh Bard was traded from Boston, and while he's actually resigned, he didn't exactly work out like Boston wanted him to. Really with Crisp gone, it's safe to say that even with Marte being a colossal bust, the Indians probably still won the deal thanks to Shoppach.
"I still like our process on the trade," Shapiro said. "It just didn't work out the way we expected."
Do things ever do in baseball?

Hoynes chronicles what happened to everyone involved or linked to the deal, including Arthur Rhodes and Jason Michaels.

Really though... Kelly Shoppach is the lone guy from that deal that is actually still worth something for the team that they went to and Randy Newsome is probably next in line, unless you count the guy the Red Sox got in-exchange for Crisp, Relief Pitcher Ramon Ramirez.

A new edition of Indians Inbox is up, at a new day.

Covered: NO Chance of Miller ending up in the Rotation This Year, Outfield prospect with the best shot to make the opening day roster, Name Talking (WTF?), Wedge no longer driving, and CRAIG BRESLOW!

Your Morning Briefing
, In the Afternoon.

And Mark Shapiro is back in Goodyear after leaving due to the death of his grandmother. Condolences to the Shapiro family. I have what you would call, class, so I'm going to skidattle.

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