Leonys Martin is not an answer for the Pirates
Sunday afternoon, the Seattle Mariners designated veteran outfielder Leonys Martin for assignment. As soon as this news was announced, many Pirate fans started to clamor for the team to add Martin. However, they need to stay away.
The reason for this clamoring is last Tuesday’s news that Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games due to failing a drug test. This has left the Pirates with a hole to fill in their outfield.
Adding to the Pirate outfield woes was Monday’s news of Adam Frazier‘s injury. The Pirate super utility man was put on the disabled list on Monday with a hamstring strain. Prior to this, Frazier figured to get a lot of reps in the outfield with Marte out.
Make no mistake about it, Leonys Martin’s defense is very good. In his Major League career, he has played all three outfield positions. Combined between the three, he is responsible for 44 defensive runs saved (DRS).
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The problem is that Martin’s offense is, well, offensive. In 2,095 career plate appearances, the 29-year old outfielder owns a .291 wOBA and a wRC+ of 80. He owns a 6.4 percent walk rate, 22.1 percent strikeout rate, and his career oWAR is an abysmal -25.3.
To be honest, the Pirates would be better off rolling with their internal options than Leonys Martin. John Jaso grades out as an average defender in right field, this makes his 116 career wRC+ and .338 wOBA a much better option than Martin.
Additionally, the Pirates would be better off in seeing what they have in Jose Osuna than adding Leonys Martin. It is possible that Osuna could be part of the Pirate future, even if it is only as a bench player, while Martin never will be.
Finally, Adam Frazier should not miss much more than 10-14 days. Whenever he is healthy and ready to go again, he is a much better option than Leonys Martin.
Yes, the Pirate defense has left a lot to be desired this season. But right now the team’s biggest problem is the offense. There is no way, shape, or form where Leonys Martin would help the Pirates offense. Honestly, he would make it worse whenever he would be in the lineup.
While it would not kill the Pirates to add some outfield help, Leonys Martin should not be that help. He is a very poor hitter and would not do a team that is already struggling on offense any good. Hopefully, the Pirates will stay far away from Leonys Martin.