J.D. Martinez (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
This is not something that I saw coming. If you would have told me back in 2012 that J.D. Martinez was going to be removed from the 40-man roster, I would have said that you were crazy.
But now it makes sense. And it is a good thing.
You can call me delusional, but I just did not see it coming. Not when Martinez hit .274 in 208 at bats when he was called up in 2011. And certainly not when Martinez drove in 19 runs in the first month of 2012.
Even though Martinez plummeted back down to earth for the rest of 2012, but there was still hope. It seemed like the outfielder was just dealing with some injury woes and having a hard time fully acclimating himself to the major leagues.
I never thought that Martinez would be a total difference maker, but at the same time I thought that he would be part of the Astros’ future along with Jose Altuve. Despite his 2012 struggles, Martinez still hit 11 home runs and had 55 RBI’s in 113 games. To expect a 15/80 season from Martinez was not out of the question.
Now talent was still lacking in the organization at this time, so there was the concern of overrating Martinez. But going into 2012, he was being counted on as a middle of the order run producer.
Last season was difficult for the outfielder as he hit .250 with seven home runs and 36 RBI’s in 86 games. He once again had some health issues and also spent some time in AAA.
Again I think Martinez was artificially propped up due to the lack of other options, but he had a pretty quick fall from grace.
The organizational depth chart is now much improved for the Astros, so it should not be a surprise that space is needed on the 40-man roster. I just didn’t see it coming that Martinez would be out righted down to Oklahoma City. What was also surprising, is that he was not claimed by any other team.
I don’t think that this means Martinez is completely out of Jeff Luhnow’s and Bo Porter‘s plans, but this is the perfect example of how different the Astros look going into 2014 than they did in 2012. At best Martinez is a bench player or a spare part in AAA.