Martin and Choo – What To Do?
In case you have been living under a rock over the past week – or have already thrown in the towel on the Rangers’ season, Shin Soo Choo pulled a Houdini in Colorado, Leonys Martin has finally played himself out of a job, and the Rangers have found a little mojo.
First and foremost, the Rangers are winners of three-straight games after defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4-2 in the first of a three-game set in Anaheim. Colby Lewis proved – yet again – that he is the workhorse of the staff, and tossed 7.2 innings of tough, gritty, winning baseball. He now has a team-high ten wins on the season. Josh Hamilton received the the chorus of boos that everyone expected, and still turned in a 2-for-4 performance with two runs. Hambone answered a Mike Trout solo blast in the bottom of the fourth, with a double off the base of the wall down the right field line in the top of the fifth, and prevented the Angels from keeping any momentum.
Now to the elephants in the article.
After going 4-for-5 on Tuesday against the Rockies and becoming the eighth player in Rangers’ history to hit for the cycle, Choo – almost magically, forgot how to hit the baseball less than 24 hours later. In fact, he was awarded a “golden trophy” for his follow-up performance, and I’d be willing to bet, a hefty fine in Kangaroo Court.
According to the Rangers’ media guide and Elias, Choo became the first player in MLB history to strike out four-plus times in the next game after hitting for the cycle. Yes, everyone aboard the “trade Choo for three dead fish and a sack of wood chips” train had to eat crow on Tuesday, yet were able to laugh about his Golden Sombrero the very next.
He has been bad, historically bad, and it’s really no secret. At this point, trading him and eating the majority of his massive mistake of a contract would essentially be an “addition by subtraction” move, and would clear room for Ryan Rua to assume an everyday role. Something most die-hard Ranger fans are more than ready for.
Choo’s four hits on Tuesday accounted for exactly one-third of his hits for the entire month on July, and that includes his RBI double in the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Angels on Friday. A game where he also picked up his 13th and 14th strikeouts of the month, which were also his 5th and 6th in the last two games.
For the month of July, Choo has a whopping 12 hits (12-48, .250 BA), and remember, four of those came in one game. Go ahead and do the math. Subtract his four hits from his monthly total of 12, multiply that number (8) by 100, and divide by the remaining 44 at-bats. I know what you’re thinking, “Choo gotta be kidding me, right? We are paying this guy enough money to buy a small country and he is hitting .182 (8-44) over the month of July?” Yes, that is exactly what is going on here.
As far as Martin, well, it is easier to find stats to show how bad he has been than it is to find positive ones. Seriously, take a look at his preview versus his replacement and offensive spark plug Delino DeShields’ preview in the Rangers’ media guide prior to the victory over the Angels.
There is literally nothing positive about Martin’s 2015 season. No optimism, no recent success, no more playing time, and no reason to elaborate further. Even with the howitzer situated on his right shoulder, Martin is a waste of a roster spot.
The two have become overpaid platoon players. The experiment with Choo has failed, and Martin has failed to develop. It is very, very unlikely that there is any sort of trade market for either player, but if there is any way possible to move one – or both of them, JD and company need to pull the trigger regardless of the return. Addition by subtraction at its finest, and hell, it’s not like Rua can do any worse.