With the injuries mounting up in Boston, there was need for a middle infielder to be called up. Dustin Pedroia is irreplaceable, but someone needs to fill his roster spot during his stint on the DL. Brandon Magee lets us know why Deven Marrero got the call up to the big leagues.
Wednesday night was a good news, bad news game for the Boston Red Sox. The good news is that they were finally able to solve the Baltimore Orioles, winning 5-1. The bad news is that both Hanley Ramirez (hit in the wrist on a line drive single by Xander Bogaerts) and Dustin Pedroia (injured his leg on a 2-run single) left the game due to injury. With Dustin Pedroia landing on the 15 day disabled list with a right hamstring injury, Deven Marrero gets his first call-up to the Major Leagues.
Deven Marrero was the twenty-fourth pick of the 2012 first year player draft out of Arizona State University. Marrero was considered a strong defensive player coming out of college, picking up the 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award. In his three seasons as a Sun Devil, Marrero recorded an offensive line of .326/.371/.492 with 37 doubles, 11 triples, and 12 round trippers.
Despite underwhelming offensive production in the minors, Marrero has been pushed steadily through the Red Sox system. After batting .268/.358/.374 for the Lowell Spinners in his first professional season, Marrero was promoted to High-A Salem for the 2013 season, hitting.256/.341/.334 in 85 games. He was then bumped to AA Portland to end the 2013 season, where he had an OBP of .321 in 19 games. Last season, his offense appeared to turn a corner in Portland, as he hit .291/.371/.433 with 26 extra base hits – including five home runs – in 68 games. Marrero was promoted to AAA Pawtucket in early July where he struggled the rest of the way, batting .210/.260/.285 in 50 games:
Marrero has made a slight improvement in his second season in Pawtucket, putting up a line of .241/.300/.345 in 66 games. However, his walk rate has plummeted. Going into this season, his BB% was between 11 and 12%. This season it is 7.3%. His strikeout rate has also risen dramatically. In his previous minor league seasons, his strikeout rate topped out at 19%. This season it is at nearly 24%.
Marrero had played exclusively at shortstop in the Red Sox organization until this season. While it is very difficult to get an accurate handle on defensive play in the minors, the numbers we do have show him to have a steady hand. In 2013, Marrero put up a .988 fielding percentage between Salem and Portland with 66 double plays turned. Last season, he put up a .976 fielding percentage with 70 twin killings. For sake of comparison, Xander Bogaerts had a fielding percentage at shortstop of .975 with 54 double plays for the Boston Red Sox last season. This season, Marrero has been the primary shortstop for the PawSox where his defense has mysteriously suffered. In 60 games at short, Marrero has already committed a career-high 13 errors. Marrero has also made his first forays into different positions, playing five games at second base and one at third base:
Much like the initial promotion of Travis Shaw, opportunities sometime come due to unexpected circumstances. While the numbers that Marrero has put up in the minors do not scream for a call-up, the Red Sox need another infielder capable of playing second base. With Jemile Weeks on the minor league rehab trail and Sean Coyle struggling offensively, Marrero was the best option.