Fernando Martinez just can’t catch a break.
The injury-prone former top prospect has received semi-regular playing time in right field since joining the Astros last weekend, but Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that he’s now headed to the 7-day disabled list with post-concussion syndrome.
It’s not clear when Martinez hurt himself, but he’ll need to pass a concussion test before resuming baseball activities. Matt Downs has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take his place on the active roster.
While it’s an unfortunate turn of events for Martinez, he hasn’t exactly been tearing things up since his promotion. The 23-year-old outfielder is just 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts.
UPDATE: Levine writes that the origin of Martinez’s concussion was likely a hit-by-pitch when he was still in Triple-A. Astros manager Brad Mills believes his condition may have been aggravated when he dove for a ball.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.