I got a lot of questions tonight about when Starling Marte should get the call. The questions probably came because the center fielder went 2-for-5 with a home run, a day after going 2-for-5 with a double and a triple. And based on the questions, a big factor here is the poor performance of Jose Tabata and Alex Presley in the majors.
In regards to the "when should Starling Marte be promoted" question, I'd first put the disclaimer that Marte's promotion should be based on his performance alone. The performance of Tabata or Presley is irrelevant. The last thing the Pirates want to do is rush their best hitting prospect, risking his long term progress all to fill a short-term need. The answer to "when should Marte be promoted" should be the same answer you'd give if Presley and Tabata were both playing well.
So when should Marte be promoted? The simple answer is when he shows some consistency.
It was only about a week ago that Marte was on a major cold streak. After starting off strong...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.