Cubs News: Jose Martinez will be a familiar face in the crowd

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

In a matchup of the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend, there will be a familiar face in Jose Martinez.

The Chicago Cubs got Jose Martinez from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to named later or cash considerations. But he spent the last four years with the Cardinals and was pretty good at it–hitting .300 each of his first three seasons (He had 18 plate appearances his ‘rookie’ year).

He had his best year with St. Louis, hitting an OPS+ of 124 in 2018, but it went South from there–ending up with a -69 with the Cubs. Granted, he’d like to be hitting better than that. But it is what it is. He’s 0-for-9 with them–plenty of time to get it going.

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And that’s what he figured. He’s not going to hit for a negative OPS+. No way. But he was surprised to be dealt.

"“You’re always surprised to get traded,” Martinez told reporters earlier in the week. “You don’t expect to get traded at all. With all the circumstances over there, they got a pretty good team. They had a lot of guys, good players over there.” h/t Jeff Gordon, St. Louis-Dispatch"

In 2018 he hit a slash of .305/.364/.457 with an OPS of .821 in 152 games. He had 30 doubles, 17 home runs and 83 knocked in. He’s gone downhill from there–but he’s looking turn the tide. He’s a right-handed batter, so is Cameron Maybin. Maybe they could platoon with Kyle Schwarber to get him some ABs at the DH?

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I actually like Martinez. I didn’t like the movement coming from him–but I’m ‘at peace’ with that. A lot of moving gears to go with the stance, but I’m content with that. Now, hitless in his first nine at-bats? He needs to get going on that.