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….

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates.

Bentley out for the year

It’s official: Pro Bowl center and the Browns’ prized offseason acquisition LeCharles Bentley will miss the entire season with a torn patellar tendon.

“He was the face of our free agent class,” Savage said. “He was a player that probably wanted to play for the Browns as much as anyone.”

Savage said Bentley didn’t suffer the injury due to contact or the result of a pile-up, but rather by planting his foot awkwardly after being unable to stop his forward momentum.

Browns fans have been waiting seemingly decades for the team to put together a solid offensive line. Looks like we’ll have to wait one more season. Bob Hallen replaced Bentley with the first-team offense Thursday but rumor has it the Browns will be scouring the list of available free agents.

…Damnit. Damnit, damnit, damnit.

Uh oh…LeChuck hurt

Can’t say that I’m surprised by this, but I’m certainly depressed:

Reports from Browns training camp in Berea indicate that free agent center LeCharles Bentley has been taken off the field on a cart. He was holding his left knee.

After being taken from the field, Bentley was fitted with an air cast on his left leg, which provides an initial indication that the problem may be with his left fibula rather than the knee.

There has been no official word from the team on the injury, and all reports thus far are from observers on the sidelines, but this certainly doesn’t look good. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


ESPN has picked up the story too.

Bentley got tangled in a pile of players as he was blocking on a running play for Reuben Droughns.

Bentley screamed, “No,” before remaining on his knees as the Browns moved their scrimmage up the field so trainers could attend to the 6-foot-2, 309-pound player.

He stayed on the ground in a seated position for several minutes before Cleveland’s medical staff immobilized his left knee and carted him to the locker room.

Bentley covered his face with a towel on the short drive to the field house as Browns players and fans looked on in shock.

Ugh. Still no specifics on the injury.

Bye-bye Wicky

Of all the guys the Indians could’ve been shopping this season, Bob Wickman seemed the most logical choice to go. Teams are paying a premium for relievers this season (see Cincinnati’s insane multi-player trade last week) and a battle-tested guy like Wickman would no doubt help a team in need of a closer or simply bullpen depth. Add that to the fact that Wick is not in the Tribe’s long-term plans and it seemed a given that he’d be dealt at some point.

Well, here you go.

The Braves finally obtained a closer Thursday, acquiring right-hander Bob Wickman from the Indians for Class A catcher Max Ramirez, has learned. …Wickman, 37, had to approve the deal as a player with 10 years of major league service, five with the same team.

No real word on this Ramirez kid yet, but one of the fantasy baseball sites I check regularly said he’s got a lot of offensive potential and he may very well not project as a catcher long-term, which makes sense considering we’ve already got Victor and now Kelly Shoppach behind the plate.

It’s tough to really gauge a deal like this with such an unknown prospect, but at least Shapiro is being aggressive with some of his marketable assets. Expect to see Fausto Carmona in the closer’s role now, though unless the team wants plans on auditioning Carmona as the closer of the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if several guys (Betancourt, Cabrera) get save opps over the rest of the season.

Say it with me: “We want Marte!”

If Mark Shapiro hasn’t been feeling pressure to cut the cord on Aaron Boone and call up slick-fielding, power-hitting third baseman Andy Marte from Buffalo as his replacement, he will after last night’s Triple-A All Star Home Run Derby:

When the best power hitters in Triple-A baseball were finished, a number of balls had left the park and pounded onto the pavement beyond the high barricade in left field. Andy Marte of the Buffalo Bisons, a top prospect in the Cleveland system, won the competition by hitting 29 home runs, and as shot after shot disappeared into the night sky, Tribe fans had to be saying: “Get this guy to Cleveland.”

Um…yeah. As I stated in a previous post, it’s got to be difficult to make such a move (replacing an established, albeit struggling, veteran with an unproven prospect) because it signals the end of your season (most likely), but enough is enough. At the very least, Marte can’t possibly be any worse than Boone, although some readers recently have commented on the effects of team chemistry, and losing Boone would certainly change the chemistry. Still, Marte is a very good defensive third baseman and, obviously, the kid can hit.

Now, let’s see him do it at the Jake.