The Bowtie Perspective By: Hunter Ives January 31, 2019 - The Independent-Journal: Sports

The Bowtie Perspective By: Hunter Ives January 31, 2019

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Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2019 10:54 am

5 Reasons Why The St. Louis Cardinals

Should Be Hesitant In Trading José Martinez

There are some players within the game of baseball that seem to ignite a team. Individuals who not only leave lasting impressions offensively, but find ways to make a difference in the club house. Players like these for example, are ones that should be protected at all costs. Humans that carry more of a value than money can pin point. Major Leaguers like José Martinez, find a way to make a mark on their city. As a fan and follower who spent many days at Busch Stadium last season, there was no bigger ball of fire, optimism, and sheer joy than that of “JMart.” Whether it was among teammates in the clubhouse, out on the field warming up, or in the batter’s box, José was always moving. The lengthy strides and majestic swings, truly amplified the amount of natural energy that he brought to the ballpark each day.

When interviewed by the media on any given occasion, there was never a single mention of negativity. Even after several games of poor defense, his goal was clear: he wanted to help his team in any way.

Earlier in the off season, there was immense speculation and talk that a potential trade was being discussed involving José. Now as of January 27th, no such activity has taken place. As Winter Warm Up and other meet-and-greet activities have now ended, it seems all the more unlikely that the Red Birds would indeed trade the First Baseman and Outfielder.

As I feel strongly opposed to the notion of parting ways with Martinez in any form, I have created and published 5 reasons why the Cardinals should be hesitant in trading him.

1. A Positive Clubhouse Presence–– When a team is in a slump, or things simply aren’t going the way in which they are desired, it is vital to have that key motivator in the dugout. While sure, it can be argued that Adam Wainwright has primarily been that guy for years, José proves the most prominent. It is important for a team’s overall morale, to constantly be uplifted in tough times. On multiple different occasions in 2018, JMart had the ability to speak positively even during his own struggles. That in turn, allowed for the team to play more free and easy; unafraid of being labeled as not productive. As many fans remember, “Cafe Jr.” even resorted to using a yellow cone as a megaphone in the dugout, during a rough stretch. An individual to the degree of José, is never appreciated enough.

2. A Professional Major League Hitter–– In 2018 (at 29 years old), José Martinez found a way to emerge as one of the most consistent hitters in all of baseball. While the impressive batting average could speak for that claim, offensively it lay much deeper than just an average. According to Baseball Reference, last season he turned in 590 plate appearances. In those plate appearances, 534 At Bats. Along with 64 runs scored, 163 hits, 30 Doubles, 17 Home runs, and 83 RBI. Not to mention 49 walks. His Batting Average? A team-leading .309. There was no doubt, that José found a way to execute when it mattered. As mentioned earlier, 2018 was not a good defensive season for Martinez overall. However though he failed to execute defensively, he emerged as one of (if not the), best hitter on the team last season.

3. The Return Via Trade, Would Never Equal His True Value–– Let’s take a shot in the dark here, and hypothetically suggest that the Cardinals indeed traded José Martinez. More than likely, the return would be that of a reliever or bullpen arm. The Front Office has addressed numerous times, that they are interested in improving the pen. (Thus the signing of Miller, and the atrocious showing in 2018 by the BP.) With that being said, even receiving a guy such as Will Smith in return, would never exceed the value received projected by Martinez. There are multiple factors that support this. The superior offensive capabilities are not the only aspect. To reiterate, a positive presence is also vital for a ball club. A sub- 3.00 ERA righty that could “possibly” put up solid numbers, would never even come close to touching what José means to the St. Louis Cardinals Organization.

4. Irreplaceable Fan Interaction–– José has always been a fan favorite; and for good reason. At events such as Winter Warm Up and The Cardinals Caravan, José never fails to make the fans smile. In a video from the Cardinals Caravan, he was seen “flossing” with a young fan. Flossing, is a new type of dance. One that shows the energy. Moments such as those, speak volumes for an organization. From numerous personal occasions last season, JMart was always interacting with fans while taking the field. Instances such as a simple wave, put into perspective how special of a player he is. Not to mention his interest in signing items for young fans before a game.

5. Por el amor de Dios, it’s José; He’s a Great Pinch Hitter. Oh Yeah, & An Upgrade Over Greg Garcia–– For crying out loud, it’s José we’re talking about here. There is plenty to get excited about moving forward, for Martinez. Even if that means a pinch hitting role. Since the departure of Greg Garcia, a permanent pinch hitter is still yet to be identified. Whether that role will be given to Muñoz or José, will depend on the future of Jedd Gyorko. Regardless, JMart would provide some much needed “pop” off the bench in tough spots. Again, he is an established and professional Major League Hitter. One that any manager can trust, go to, and instill confidence in. The decision to trade José would be one that makes minimal sense.

José Martinez is irreplaceable.

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