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The Mystery of Michael Martinez

Why in the hell is Michael Martinez a player for the Cleveland Indians? Okay, so the literal answer is clearly, "because they don't have anyone else to play the position," but I already know that most people agree that he may not even be a Major League caliber baseball player.

So how does Martinez, minor league fodder, start a baseball game for the Cleveland Indians? And seriously, if you're thinking that "hey, he can play multiple positions," then you need to find a different sport.

Talk about the utter failure of an organization on a massive level. First, you have an already tenuous outfield situation made worse, when Michael Brantley was announced as not likely to be ready by opening day. Follow that up with Abraham Almonte's suspension, Lonnie Chisenhall's injury (followed by Lonnie being Lonnie), and a host of guys that shouldn't be starting every day, and you just have an outfield mess.

Even so, why is Michael Martinez the choice, even if it's only for a few days? Sure, you can talk about not wasting another player that you may have to DFA, but aren't there other clear choices in the organization that you may want to bring up to have some sort of impact, but I'm jumping ahead here.

At what point to you call into question an organization that allows players like this, on a team that has an offensive issue as it is, to actually play meaningful games with the club. When do you ponder a front office that did absolutely nothing to answer the outfield question during the offseason, other than sign Rajai Davis (as a fourth outfielder), then get lucky on Marlon Byrd, who really should just replace Lonnie Chisenhall?

These are moves that organizations make when they are either contenders, and need to fill the seams, or are a team that is going to be really bad, and needs players to fill the roster. Are the Indians any of those things? Before you say contender, what is your proof?

Sports Illustrated?

Experts?

They have a great roster, but to say the outfield, before the injuries, is anywhere close to contender-worthy, is ridiculous. Today? It looks like something straight out of a Triple A team.

It's at this point you turn to economics, and while I get that the Indians are strapped financially (and I think you could debate this), are you to tell me that they don't have the assets in the minor leagues that wouldn't even peak the interest of another baseball club, without ravaging the prospect list?

Normally, I'd buy the "I value their assets far too much," but not this year. This year, the Indians absolutely have the collateral that would entice another big league team enough to find the right outfielder to fill the holes. Could the Indians have acquired a Marcell Ozuna or a Jackie Bradley Jr. or a Josh Reddick? It's hard to pinpoint names, because you never know what a team is going to ask, but it's hard for me to believe they couldn't have made that kind of move.

I'm not going to get into the fact that the Indians are waiting a year for Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer, both in Double A, when likely at least one of them should be in Triple A. But oh yeah, they were getting held back by the Michael Martinez's and the Collin Cowgills of the world. Zimmer's advanced, according to the Tribe, but not that much.

Then there's Terry Francona, who is as respected a manager in baseball as there is, but continues to throw out guys just like Martinez, every...single...year. Jerry Sands was almost a staple for a good portion of last year, and Mike Aviles...in the outfield...makes my head hurt.

Is it the hand he's dealt?

Is it because he just loves the veterans?

I get baseball, and I get get how baseball rosters work. When guys like Michael Martinez become option for a big league baseball team, that's something you do when you're desperate for a player because the front office misplayed several things, and because a manager refuses to play the right guys.

In other words...not good...anywhere.

What's the mystery of Michael Martinez? I don't know, but I fear the fact that the Indians continue to have these unsolved mysteries likely means meaningful baseball games will be few and far between.
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