Finally, Marte arrives

It won’t take the sting away from yesterday’s LeCharles Bentley injury, but at least the Indians are finally turning the page on the Aaron Boone era by calling up Andy Marte today:

Third-base prospect Andy Marte was promoted to the Indians from Triple-A Buffalo on Friday, with utility infielder Ramon Vazquez optioned back to the Bisons.

Marte, acquired along with reliever Guillermo Mota and catcher Kelly Shoppach in the trade that sent Crisp, David Riske and Josh Bard to Boston, has been generally regarded as the Tribe’s third baseman for ’07. At the time of the trade, the club said he’d need some more Triple-A seasoning before he’d be big-league ready, and he proved as much with a slump at the plate at the outset of ’06.

In recent weeks, though, Marte has been as productive as they come. He earned International League Player of the Month honors in June by batting .304 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs. Earlier this month, he took home the Home Run Derby crown at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Toledo.

For the season, Marte has hit .261 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs. He’s made 19 errors in the field.

Boone is still around, but the Tribe isn’t calling Marte up to sit on the bench. He may not be the everyday starter at third initially, but he will be when the team either trades or, if there is in fact no market for him, cuts Boone. Until then, I imagine Marte will still get the bulk of the starts at third.

Good news for Tribe fans. Now, I wonder if Marte can play center….

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