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Tampa Bay Rays Designate Michael Martinez for Assignment

By David Hill
May 22, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Michael Martinez (2) on deck to bat during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 22, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Michael Martinez (2) on deck to bat during the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Tampa Bay Rays acquired Trevor Plouffe, one had to assume Michael Martinez‘ days were numbered. That move came yesterday, as the Rays designated the utility man for assignment.

When Brad Miller was placed on the disabled list, the Tampa Bay Rays were in need of infield help. As such, they acquired Michael Martinez for cash considerations after he was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians. While he was not likely to take on a full time role, Martinez appeared capable of serving a utility role with the Rays.

However, he struggled during his chances since being acquired. In his 29 plate appearances, Martinez produced an anemic .077/.172/.077 batting line, with three walks and ten strikeouts. Although he did get five starts at second, he simply was not productive enough to warrant an expanded role.

Once the Rays brought in Trevor Plouffe over the weekend, Martinez appeared likely to be let go. He only had 11 plate appearances in June, with a mere two starts in his eight games. As such, it was not a surprise that the Rays designated Martinez for assignment, opening a spot on the 25 man roster for Plouffe.

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Chances are, this will bring an end to his disappointing tenure in Tampa Bay. Although Martinez had generally underwhelmed offensively, posting a career .194/.243/.261 batting line, he did show flashes of competence. In fact, Martinez was a key reserve for the Indians run to the postseason last year, posting a .283/.306/.383 batting line in those final two months.

It also seems likely that another team will give Martinez a chance. He does have experience at second, third, short, and all three outfield positions, making him a valuable reserve. If he can produce at even a somewhat competent level, he could be a useful piece for a team in search of depth. However, past history does not indicate that he will be productive with the lumber.

Next: Trade options for the Rays bullpen

The Tampa Bay Rays simply did not have room for Michael Martinez. It is not a surprise that he was designated for assignment yesterday.

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