Starling Marte isn’t helping his case to get called up to the majors any time soon. The outfielder is currently slumping, with a .190/.298/.429 line in 42 at-bats over his last 12 games. That slump includes a 33% strikeout rate and an 11% walk rate. From the looks of that line, it seems Marte is doing one of three things: hitting for power, walking, or striking out.
Kristy Robinson wrote today about how the Pirates are waiting for the appropriate time to call up Marte, focusing on his lack of total at-bats in Triple-A.
I’ve pointed out in the past that Marte has been a streaky hitter this year. He went on a tear in late June/early July, which had people convinced that he was ready. But this slump is the same thing we’ve seen following every Marte hot streak this year. There are still consistency issues, which means it could benefit Marte to spend more time in Triple-A.
It’s not like the Pirates NEED to call up Marte right now. They have one more game against the Marlins in this three game series. After that, they play five games against the Chicago Cubs and four games against the Houston Astros. That’s a pretty easy schedule, and it shouldn’t come with desperation for an extra bat. That schedule also takes the Pirates up to the trade deadline, at which point they might have an external solution at one of the corner outfield spot.
It wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t see Marte at all this year. It’s not like the Pirates are desperate for him. They’re 13 games above .500, they’re on a four game winning streak, they have an easy stretch of games coming up, and their offense has been one of the best in the majors the last two months. They aren’t playing the ideal players at the corner outfield spots, but it’s not hurting them when you look at the big picture.
Going back to the start of June, the Pirates are 11-2-1 in series wins. The last time they lost two series’ in a row was May 18-23, when they went 2-4 against the Tigers and Mets.
In the short-term for the 2012 season, there’s not much need to bring up Marte right now. The team is winning, the offense is playing well, and Marte is in another slump. There’s no urgency in any of those situations. In the long term, there might not be a need for Marte if outside help is brought in. It could very well be that we don’t see Marte this season because of those two factors.
Links and Notes
**The Pirates beat the Marlins 5-1.
**Pirates Notebook: Burnett Continues to be the Ace of the Staff.
**Prospect Watch: Doubleheaders and Good Pitching by Altoona.