First Pitch: Close To Marte Time; Reds Dealt a Blow

A few notes to wrap up the night.

**Starling Marte had a great game tonight. That’s good to see. I pointed out two days ago the mini slump Marte was in. A few weeks ago I pointed out that his hot streak was only an equally long nine games. My point in all of this hasn’t been to say that one stretch is legit, or to make a claim one way or the other that he’s ready/not ready. My point is to give him more time to show which version is the real thing. Is it the ten game stretch where he was on fire at the plate? Or the ten game stretch where he struck out a third of the time?

Marte had an amazing June, hitting for a .325/.385/.558 line. At the start of the month, I said I’d give him another month, and if he continued that hitting, it would look like he was ready. So far he’s hitting better than last month, with a .333/.414/.667 line in July. The “give him another month” was met with “what difference will one month make?” comments. Those assumed that he was ready, and that the extra month was just going through the motions until his call-up. The extra month suggestion was to give him enough time to prove he was ready. And so far he’s proving it.

We could be getting close to #FreeStarlingMarte time.

**Imagine losing Andrew McCutchen for 3-4 weeks in the current NL Central race. That’s basically what happened to the Cincinnati Reds when they lost Joey Votto today. Votto had the second best OPS in the majors this year, behind McCutchen. The Pirates lost tonight, but remain a game behind the Reds after Cincinnati lost. With Votto out, we could see the Reds in the loss column a bit more often over the next 3-4 weeks.

**You know trade season is in full swing when a late scratch sparks trade rumors. Carlos Quentin was scratched from tonight’s game, and immediately the speculation began. It turned out that Quentin was scratched with knee soreness.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost 5-4 to the Rockies.

**Pirates Notebook: Bucs Can’t Pull Off Comeback Win; McCutchen Wins Two Awards.

**Prospect Watch: Starling Marte Just Misses Cycle, Tony Sanchez Hits Fifth Homer.

**Homers From Sanchez and Marte Give Indians The Win.

**Prospect Notebook: Trading From the Rule 5 Candidates.

**Monday Trade Rumors: Shane Victorino, Matt Garza, Starling Marte.

**Drew Sutton Adding a Spark to the Top of the Lineup.

**Alex Presley Activated From DL, Hague Optioned.

**Prospect Trends — Week Ending 7/15.

**Minor League Schedule: 7/17/12.

  • MikeEaslerFan
    July 20, 2012 11:58 pm

    Im not sure I buy that argument. A great defensive SS adds significantly more value to a team than a great defensive left fielder. Apples/oranges. Having said that, theres no denying that Marte will be a great improvement defensively and that does have value as you stated.

  • Bucs need to bring up Marte or trade Marte…. I think we have gotten the most out of what we have so far, they need a shot in the arm in that clubhouse, don’t be fooled Jones is not a outfielder nor is Sutton nor is Presley. This isn’t the 80’s cardinals

    • MikeEaslerFan
      July 21, 2012 12:04 am

      “Bucs need to bring up Marte or trade Marte”

      No they dont. You forget the third and perhaps the most valid option, continue to develop him on course and bring him up when you feel hes actually ready.

  • Marte is 24, he is who he is, he is better than Hernandez and Presley, definitely Tabata, I am so tired of hearing he needs time to work on his swing. Barmes , Tabata, Harrison r terrible

  • Once again, the only thing talked about is his hitting. Harrison misplays a ball into a double last night, costing the Bucs a few runs. Absolutely no mention ANYWHERE of Marte’s defensive abilities and how he would be a MAJOR upgrade over Harrison, Jones and Sutton. If the Pirates can play Barmes at a sub-.200 average because he’s a a defensive upgrade, certainly they can bring up Marte for the same reason…. and something tells me he’ll hit a bit higher than .200

    • MikeEaslerFan
      July 20, 2012 11:58 pm

      Im not sure I buy that argument. A great defensive SS adds significantly more value to a team than a great defensive left fielder. Apples/oranges. Having said that, theres no denying that Marte will be a great improvement defensively and that does have value as you stated.

  • buccotime57
    July 17, 2012 7:24 am

    YEah but neal walker struggled in AAA putting up subpar numbers in 07:OPS.511; 08:OPS 694 09:OPS .791 10: OPS 951 NW required more than 1000 AB to be ready ABs do not matter its what you do with those that matter…

    • buccotime…try using some periods next time…hard to read your post. Had to read it a coupla times.

  • I heard NH alking in an interview about bringing Marte up and he cited two different options: Players they were patient with greater then 700 abs at AAA (Walker, McCutchen) and players they were agressive with less then 700 abs (Presley, Tabata, Lincoln equilvelent for a pitcher. Personally I thenk Marte’s talent level puts him between McCutchen and Walker. And it means he will have to spend the rest of the Season in AAA

    • dcn….agree…I’m in the ‘season him until he’s ready’ camp. Over season if necessary.

      .

    • I agree. Marte should lower his K-rate and add more to his BB-rate. He still misses too many pitches. Let him work on these matters in AAA.

    • john.alcorn
      July 17, 2012 3:09 pm

      That’s complete nonsense coming from NH. Nice sampls size, there are countless MLB regulars who have had less than 700ab’s at AAA.
      Its time o stop worrying about what Marte can’t do and focus on what he can do. He is never going to take walks, all the AAA in the world won’t fix that. He will always K some (20% clip), which isn’t too bad these days. He can be Alfonso Soriano-light. He can be a 20HR/30SB guy with a .320 obp.

  • I heard NH alking in an interview about bringing Marte up and he cited two different options: Players they were patient with greater then 700 abs at AAA (Walker, McCutchen) and players they were agressive with less then 700 abs (Presley, Tabata, Lincoln equilvelent for a pitcher. Personally I thenk Marte’s talent level puts him between McCutchen and Walker. And it means he will have to spend the rest of the Season in AAA

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