Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has helped off of the field in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game against the Cubs when he hit his head on the ground after pursuing a ball hit by Chris Valaika. He was replaced by Pete Kozma. Wong had been 1-for-3 with a solo home run in the game.
Losing Wong, even for seven days, would hurt the Cardinals’ chances of overtaking the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. Though the 23-year-old has only mustered a .249/.291/.384 slash line with nine home runs and 34 RBI, he has stolen 19 bases in 21 attempts and played solid defense at a premium position.
Update: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals were able to rule out a concussion. Wong will be reevaluated on Monday.
UPDATE, 4:07 p.m. ET: Well that didn’t take long. Spencer reports that Martinez has resigned from the Marlins.
You can understand how a hitting coach might be upset with a team that has registered a collective .233/.292/.337 batting line. But this is — at any level of baseball — taking it too far:
Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez was poised to resign after a player notified the team Martinez erupted in anger unjustly and grabbed him by his neck and neck chain, according to multiple sources.
But sources said team owner Jeffrey Loria, who made the decision to hire Martinez, nixed the idea, at least for now.
That story comes from the Miami Herald‘s Clark Spencer, who has identified the victim in that particular incident as second baseman Derek Dietrich. Spencer heard from an unnamed Marlins player that Martinez has also been either physically or verbally abusive this year to outfielder Justin Ruggiano, veteran infielder Chris Valaika and minor-league infielder Matt Downs.
Martinez, 45, had never coached at the MLB level prior to this year. He was a hand-picked hire by Loria.
Former Major League utilityman Wilson Valdez has signed with the Camden Riversharks as reported on the team’s official website. Valdez, who turned 35 years old on May 20, spent last season with the Reds, posting a .463 OPS in 208 trips to the plate while playing at short stop, second base, third base, and center field. The Giants had signed him to a Minor League deal for the 2013 but released him during spring training. He was picked up by the Marlins but dropped a week later in favor of Chris Valaika.
Valdez is still remembered in Philadelphia for pitching a scoreless inning of relief in the 19th inning and earning the win against the Reds on May 25, 2011.
Donovan Solano and Chris Valaika are injured, so the Marlins have called up prospect Derek Dietrich from Double-A to take over as their starting second baseman.
Dietrich was the Rays’ second-round pick in 2010 and the Marlins acquired him in exchange for Yunel Escobar this offseason.
While not considered a top prospect, Dietrich has put up solid numbers in the minors as a second baseman/shortstop, including hitting .282 with four homers and a .913 OPS in 28 games at Double-A as a 23-year-old this season.
Things can be tough for journeyman role players in the big leagues, as Nick Green of the Marlins has learned and is about to learn again.
Just yesterday MLB.com ran a story with the headline: “Green more than veteran presence for Marlins.” An excerpt:
“I just want to play the game the right way–the way it’s supposed to be played,” Green said. “To bunt a guy over or do whatever it takes to get a guy in in certain situations. I feel like everybody is starting to loosen up and not put as much pressure on themselves in those situations.”
Green and Chris Valaika have split time at shortstop since Adeiny Hechavarria went on the disabled list with a bruised right elbow. Although Hechavarria could be reinstated in the next few days, chances are Green and Valaika will both remain with the big league club.
Well, a day later Adeiny Hechavarria is just about ready to come off the disabled list and now the Miami Herald has a story with the headline: “Veteran Green expected to be designated for assignment.” An excerpt:
If he clears waivers, he can either accept a reassignment to the minors with the Marlins or try to sign with another team through free agency. It sounded Wednesday like Green was leaning toward the latter.
“It’s disappointing,” Green said of potentially severing ties with the Marlins. “Everybody wants to be in the big leagues and you got to try to do the best you can when you get a chance. That’s all I could do.”
Twenty four hours can be a long time.