Leonys Martin has been Texas’ starting center fielder since 2013 and hasn’t played in the minors since 2012, but two weeks ago the Rangers benched him for Delino DeShields and now they’re sending him to Triple-A.
Martin heads back to the minors as a 27-year-old with nearly 1,500 plate appearances as a big leaguer, but his performance this season has been genuinely terrible with a .220 batting average and .578 OPS in 94 games.
Even when Martin was playing well in 2013 and 2014 he offered modest offensive value thanks to poor power and plate discipline, but made up for it with good speed and defense.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.