Once upon a time Andy Marte was one of the best prospects in baseball. He cracked Baseball America’s top 15 list in 2004, 2005, and 2006. He got traded for Edgar Renteria and then later for Coco Crisp. And then he just never hit, batting .218 in 302 games for the Braves and Indians.
But wait, his story may not be over quite yet. Marte is now 30 years old and has spent this season playing at Triple-A for the Diamondbacks, who just called him up to the majors for his first big-league action since 2010.
Marte was having a great season at Triple-A, hitting .330 with 13 homers and an .898 OPS in 102 games. Pacific Coast League numbers are always hitter-friendly and it’d be silly to expect a ton from Marte at this point in his career, but it’d be nice to see him put together a useful stretch in Arizona.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.