It's now official: Astros have Santana to Triple-A Oklahoma City and have recalled RHP David Martinez (No. 54) from OKC.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 6, 2014
Domingo Santana, top prospect and recent call up, has been sent packing after just four games in The Show. Granted, they were disastrous games by any stretch of the imagination; Santana punched out 11 times in 13 total plate appearances and failed to reach base even once.
Four games isn't a sample to judge anyone by under any circumstances, but if you could ever draw conclusions about a player in such a short time, it might be now; Santana looked almost helpless against much older and more experienced competition.
This move isn't about, or at least isn't mostly about, his failures in four games. Something had to be done after last night's bottom of the seventh inning against the Angels, a nearly-hour-long disasterpiece of failure that saw three Astros relievers get their brains collectively beat out to the tune of eight runs.
A fresh arm comes in the form of right-hander David Martinez, who appeared in four games with Houston last year, tallying 11.1 innings of work in his debut stint in the Majors. While not impressive, he flashed some solid control and should be able to absorb a few innings in relief. This is a move made of desperate need, and Martinez is the man getting a likely-short-term opportunity to show the Major League coaching staff what he can do. Martinez compiled a 3.73 FIP, 3.00 BB/9 and 6.72 K/9 with the RedHawks this season.
Also a factor not to be ignored is Enrique Hernandez's hot start at the plate (not to mention the field). He'll be playing left field today, and his showing some offensive promise (1.137 OPS) in five games since being given a promotion has to be giving the front office some hope that they've finally found a serviceable solution to a position of woe this year.