The Pirates made a few more cuts this morning, including sending the scorching-hot Starling Marte down to minor league camp even though he’s 13-for-25 with three homers this spring. Gorkys Hernandez, Kyle McPherson, Bryan Morris, and Justin Wilson all went down with him. There aren’t really any surprises in that group; of the quintet that went down today Wilson was really the only one that I thought had any shot at all of making the big league roster and his demotion is certainly understandable if the team is still thinking of him as a starter long-term.
When Marte went on his consecutive hit streak earlier in the spring and some people started to get excited about him, I commented on Twitter that even if he hit .900 all spring, I’d want to see him in Indianapolis to start the season. That’s not a knock on Marte; I just think that he’s still got work to do. I think there might be an occasionaly player that warrants a Double-A to the big leagues jump, but Marte’s just not that player. When you’ve got a player that struck out 100 times and only walked 22 times in 572 Double-A plate appearances, you have to give that player a bit of a look in Triple-A. It’s great that Marte killed the ball this spring. Hopefully it means that the huge strides he made in terms of power will carry over to 2012 and beyond. Hopefully it means he’s continuing to evolve as a player. It’s really impossible to say in 25 spring training at-bats, though. You just can’t tell if a guy’s plate discipline is improving in such a small span of time.
Marte will be in Pittsburgh when he deserves to be. That’s not right now, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen before the summer’s out.