While Saturday was full of plenty of college football drama and had the focus of much of the country here in the US, there was baseball going on in the Dominican Republic. Noelvi Marte, who just recently joined the Gigantes del Cibao this week. He played in his first game on Tuesday, going 3-4 with a double, run, and an RBI that night. On Saturday night he extended his hitting streak to four games. He was hitless entering the 8th inning, but he singled up the middle to raise his average to .412. The next play, though, saw him steal second base and after sliding head first he called for the trainer.

On the play nothing looked out of ordinary until he remained on the dirt at second base after the slide. The trainer came out and appeared to be checking out his hamstring. About a minute later he helped him up to his feet and Marte limped off of the field with a little bit of assistance from a training staff member on each side of him. Marte then walked down the steps of the dugout on his own.

With the game taking place in the Dominican Republic, there was not an immediate update following the game. There is just under one month remaining in the regular season for the Dominican Winter League before the playoffs begin. It’s unclear if Marte would return, even if he’s going to be healthy before then. Big league clubs usually don’t step in and prevent position players from participating in winter leagues unless there’s an injury-related reason to keep them off of the field. With Marte exiting the game early on Saturday night that could be a situation that could cause them to step in. We’ll have to wait and see what happens here over the next few days.

36 Responses

  1. west larry

    This is scary. I hope that it’s nothing serious. I think that many of us in the red leg family feel that he could be the brightest star of all the rookie reds. Here is hoping that he is 100 percent healthy in a couple of days.

  2. Greenfield Red

    This may serve as a reminder, the Reds don’t have too many infielders. There is almost always somebody hurt.

    The improvements that need to be made, need to be made with free agent dollars, not by trading JI.

    Just my opinion.

    • west larry

      I also agree. IT shouldn’t break the bank to get another infielder in the free agent market.

    • Andy

      Probably true, unless the quality of player available in trade is greater than free agents. Honestly, free agents outside of Ohtani aren’t really that exciting. What free agent provides significant upgrade in OF or C? Maybe Bellinger, but the options beyond that will all be big $$ for marginal improvement. Juan Soto, on the other hand would really move the needle for 2024.

      • Andy

        Also worth thinking about Tatis. Better than anyone (except Ohtani) available as free agent. Will likely never see a 7 War season again (that was PED boosted), but still only 24 and projected for 5.5fwar 2024. If the Reds want to invest in next cornerstone star, Tatis might make sense. The long term $ is big, but I suspect SD will throw in some $ to move him if significant prospects and MLB talent come back.

  3. Jerry Tracey

    I also agree. Please slow down on the JI trade rumors. No free agent is going to replace the value that he brings to the Reds.

  4. J

    I’ve said this many times when people post their theoretical future lineups and pitching rotations. It’s increasingly rare for any particular 8 position players or 5 starting pitchers to be healthy enough to play simultaneously. The 9th, 10th, and 11th position players matter a lot, as do the 6th, 7th, and 8th starters. At this point I’d much rather see the Reds adding players than trading them away.

    • doofus

      Uh, am I missing something, when you trade players you also add players.

  5. Mauired

    I know this is going to stir up the Barrero haters, but I’ve always felt his best position is probably 3rd. And after his big (nearly 20/20) second half, I would like to see him get another chance to stick in the bigs. They can cash in on India for a starting pitcher with or without Marte. They can always move Steer back to 3rd as well. Arroyo will be in AA next year exactly where Marte started last year so it’s possible if he has a big year, he’s in the mix late 2024 as well.

  6. Greenfield Red

    Here is another thought I’ve had in the past few days. Is there a significant chance that either Hinds or Dunn knocks the door down and takes an every day starting outfield spot out of Spring Training or early in the year?

    I don’t think it’s a 50% chance, but I don’t think it’s 0% either. That would solve the RH outfielder middle of the order masher situation.

    • Mauired

      I think Hinds needs more time than Dunn. But I could see Dunn in the mix around May ala McClain if he starts out on fire in Louisville and an opening presents itself (it always does). In my opinion Dunn will complement the current mostly lefty outfield perfectly and fit right in with his style of play. He was quietly at least nationally one of the best prospects in baseball last year.

      • Reaganspad

        McLain

        I am not sure Barrero is best at 3rd, but he is on the 2024 team. If his talent and skill set doesn’t equate to a ML career, we need to be concerned about EDLC. I am not concerned about either, but the growing pains for both show that playing in the show is a ton of hard work AND the ability to understand that you have to adapt to be a regular. You can no longer rely on the God given skills that got you here.
        Aquino was never a good comp for Barrero.

    • MBS

      I think it’s very likely by midseason that one of Dunn, Hinds, or Hurtubise plays a major role in the OF. I guess it boils down do we want to be very good opening day?

      As you pointed out above Marte’s injury is a good reminder that depth matters. We got nice depth in the infield, but not in the OF.

      • Reaganspad

        Now Hinds may be an Aquino comp, but his adaptation last year May show that needed ability to get to the ML

  7. Reaganspad

    Also May mean that the vet you are trying to sign for the outfielder audition this year is more Kevin Mitchell than Eric Davis.

    Someone who you bring in that just hits and rides off to the DH sunset in year 2

  8. John

    I respect the grind but I would hate for a big injury in the winter leagues.

    I get that India still has depth, but he is on the latter 3 years you would be fine trading him if it helped with pitching.

    I know it seems no one likes barrero, but he provides more value especially with how the reds roster is spread out…

    We know the lineup as of now but India covers 2b therefore it means u slide the inf left or McLain has a day off.

    Worse defensive with India

    With barrero you get a faster, better D, and can probably play SS and I assume could play CF, 2b, 3b.

    He would serve the off day for a guy or injury replacement.

    Hitting wise barrero did have 19 homers last year and both players missed time (India injury and barrero bench role limited at bats)

    With baseball u have to gamble but if I’m Nick Krall, if India nets you a reliever with some upside in triple a (Casey legumina or better), u get a solid arm and barrero provides more value with more positions and a younger and higher potential.

    I’m sorry for ranting but I think barrero is hard worker and is a minor change from being a productive player at the plate

    Also Arroyo and steer fit that backup role if let’s say McLain tears his ACL for some reason in July you can make it work

    It’s great that we got 3 borderline solid OF in Hurt, hinds and Dunn ready soon. That’s why I hope we spend money only on SP, righty UTL guy and 2-3 bullpen guys

    • Melvin

      I’m all for giving Barrero another chance.

      • Greenfield Red

        It seems the only thing holding Barerro back is recognition of the breaking ball that tails away from him as it drops out of the strike zone. If he could just harness that, he would be a very good ML hitter with power and speed. I would not give up on him and would offer everything at my disposal to help him over the hump.

      • Colorado Red

        So did many minor league players. If AA could have recognized that pitch, he would be in the majors. I want Barrero to do well, but it is time for him to fish or cut bait

      • Greenfield Red

        Rather than playing in the DWL, would he be better served staying in AZ watching film and hitting 500 balls a day in an effort to boost pitch recognition?

  9. JayTheRed

    If it required one of our good Infielders to get a good starting pitcher, I still do it. The Reds are very deep in the infield.

    Really hope Marte is going to be something that doesn’t take very long to recover from.

    • Old-school

      Jim bowden has a Q&A up at the Athletic and says Jon India+ Ty Floyd and a peripheral player would net Dylan Cease. Says reds are poised to dominate NL central for 5 years and need more pitching and a big outfield bat but core is in place to be next years Dbacks

      • MBS

        He also said the Reds should be the best NLC team over the next 5 years, but they need to add a couple of veteran pitchers and an OF bat.

  10. Optimist

    1 – As Doug notes, this may be a time for the Reds to “step in” to assure he’s ready for Spring Training.

    2 – Really looking forward to Hinds/Hurtubise and Dunn (and Barrero), but Fairchild is still the 4/5 OFer into June. With an injury and/or a hot start, one of them could arrive in June, otherwise, no rush, though Hurtubise is likely the one riding the bus up and back given his useful off-the-bench skills.

  11. MBS

    DH Fraley 7/9 India 2/9
    C Maile 5/9 Stephenson 4/9
    1B CES 7/9 Stephenson 2/9
    ======================
    2B McLain 7/9 India 2/9
    3B Marte 7/9 India 2/9
    SS EDLC 7/9 Barrero 2/9
    ======================
    RF Benson 6/9 Friedl 3/9
    CF Bellinger 8/9 Barrero 1/9
    LF Steer 6/9 Friedl 3/9

    Bieber, Abbott, Greene
    Williamson, Ashcraft

    CL: Diaz, Chapman, Hicks
    Mid: Moll, Antone, Young
    Long: Lodolo, Spires

    If we could trade a few good prospects for Bieber, it would give us a #1 for around $12M. Bellinger is $25M, Chapman $8M , Hicks $10M, Maile $3M, India $3M, Fraley $3M, Stephenson $3M, Young $2M $66M League Minimum guys $12.58M for a $78.58M Opening Day payroll

    • Colorado Red

      I would not touch Bieber with a 10′ pool.
      Elbow issues, usually cause a lot more problems.
      Way to high a risk now.

  12. redfanorbust

    Guess I am just not sure why NM he is playing in the Dominican Republic. Is he free to play there during the off season if he chooses or was it sanctioned by the Reds? I don’t see much he needs to prove/work on and seems a needless risk.
    As far as the Jonatan India goes, RLN comments/trade proposal from Jim Bowden I would make the trade India/Ty Floyd for Dylan Cease yesterday. Just by going with baseball trade values website alone it is is big overpay for the White Sox (40.40 for 11.90). Now I love me some JI and it would sting to part with him but with the fact that good pitching wins games, pitching being at a premium/scarcity and quality above average pitching being mostly what the Reds need I make this trade (if ever offered) and quickly hang up the phone before the White Sox GM could change his mind. Then I would spend on a Jack Flaherty or Seth Lugo type, get a couple of above average relief pitchers and maybe a JD Martinez RH OF field bat. That would probably set the Reds back around 60M and combine that with the aprox 40M on the books that’s 100M and that would be about 16M LESS than the league average. IMHO now is not the time to be worrying too much about position depth and the like and more about the Reds most pressing needs and spending significant money or making trades that make the Reds substantially better.

  13. Shchi

    I was enthusiastic when the Reds promoted their young prospects to the show last season and I remain enthusiastic going into this season…albeit guardedly. We witnessed some very encouraging performances by the young position players, but just for part of a full season. De La Cruz has me very concerned with his struggles to control the strike zone. The starting pitching should show up in spring training healthy and ready to compete for the 5 available positions. The bullpen should show up healthy and ready to compete for the remaining pitching opportunities.

    The mash unit of starting pitchers destroyed the Reds last season. Not only did the team have to dig deep to even field a healthy starting pitcher, but the lack of healthy starting pitching destroyed the bullpen. I’m not sure the Reds need to sign an ace in order to compete with anyone in a strong NLCD.

    IMHO…

    Barrero needs to play and De La Cruz needs to play until they prove incapable of hitting major league pitching. They should have a limited time to demonstrate they can hit at the big league level since there are plenty of young prospects ready for the opportunity.

    The current roster needs a hitter(s) to pound LHP. I was sorry to see the Reds release Senzel because he seemed perfect for that limited role and capable of filling almost any defensive position as needed.