Utility man Jose Martinez
Jose Martinez was a popular player in St. Louis with his infectious personality, and he was a steady hitter with the Redbirds. He made his MLB debut with the Cardinals in 2016 after he had a very successful minor league run in the Royals organization, and was always consistent with the bat hitting just under .300 in his time with the Cards. Even in the 2019 NLCS against the Nationals, which was one of the most dominant pitching series in recent history by Washington, Martinez kept hitting as he hit .500 in that series.
Martinez was traded to the Rays in the Randy Arozarena-Matthew Liberatore trade and his production declined significantly. He only played 24 games with the Rays before getting traded to the Cubs at the trade deadline in 2020 and failed to record a hit. After his time in Chicago, it has just been a string of bad luck for Martinez with injuries.
After his brief time in Chicago, he signed with the Mets and during the Spring of 2021, he tore his meniscus which forced him to start the season on the IL. The heartbreak continued as while rehabbing the meniscus, he suffered a shoulder injury while rehabbing with the Mets AAA team which effectively ended his season.
Last season Martinez signed with the Acereros de Monclova in the Mexican league and he suffered another injury, this time to his hand, in their first game of the season and he was eventually released in what was another setback. When he recovered from that injury he signed with the Leones de Yucatan which is in the same league, and he was able to play 38 games with them and he hit .346 with a .413 on base. Martinez helped Leones win the 2022 Mexican League Championship hitting a home run in game 7 of the Championship game.
It's sad for me to see Martinez struggle with staying healthy ever since he left St. Louis. Hopefully, he can get a full season in 2023 and produce in the Mexican League like he did when he was with the Cardinals, and who knows maybe we'll see him throwing baseballs up into the upper deck of MLB stadiums again soon.