MLB Notebook: Giants place J.D. Davis on waivers, top prospect Noelvi Marte suspended 80 games after positive PED test, and more

Photo credit:Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Holden
4 months ago

Giants place infielder J.D. Davis on waivers

The San Francisco Giants have placed corner infielder J.D. Davis on waivers, according to Robert Murray of FanSided.
With the additions of Matt Chapman to play third base and Jorge Soler to be the team’s designated hitter, Davis wound up being the odd man out. He had a huge finish to the 2022 season for the Giants after being acquired from the New York Mets, but Davis regressed in 2023. The big right-hander slashed a .248/.325/.413 line over 546 trips to the plate with 18 home runs and 69 RBIs and struck out a career-high 152 times.
There are quite a few teams with holes at first or third base, so it’s very unlikely Davis will clear through waivers. The Blue Jays are among the teams who could use a big bat at the hot corner, as the team is currently projected to use a light-hitting combination of Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Cavan Biggio, and Santiago Espinal at third base. That said, while Davis would be a nice addition for Toronto because of his big bat, he doesn’t offer anything close to the defence that Chapman did.
Davis was selected in the third round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros and he broke into the big leagues with the club in 2017. Ahead of the 2019 season, Davis was acquired by the Mets and he broke out with 22 home runs and an .895 on-base plus slugging percentage in his first full season in the Majors. He posted an .857 OPS in 49 games with the Giants after being traded in 2022 but hasn’t been able to replicate the success he had offensively in that first year in New York.

Top prospect Noelvi Marte Suspended 80 games for PEDs

Cincinnati Reds’ No. 1 prospect, Noelvi Marte, has been smacked with an 80-game ban from the MLB after testing positive for PEDsIt was found that Marte had Boldenone in his system, a performance-enhancing drug that bolsters and accelerates muscle growth.
Marte’s suspension will start on Opening Day, meaning he will still be able to participate in and play in Spring Training games but will begin to serve his suspension when the season starts. 
Marte made his MLB debut in August of last season against the Toronto Blue Jays and went on to have a very impressive first season. Marte slashed a slick .316 batting average with 15 RBIs and three homers in just 35 games. The Reds expected Marte to be a massive part of their young infield, leading to speculation of potentially trading former MLB Rookie of the Year Jonathan India
Noelvi Marte was etched into the 3B spot for the Reds but did sign Jeimer Candelario in the offseason to a three-year, $45 million contract, so the Reds will be covered there. Plus, the Reds have some of the best young talent in baseball, equipped with Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, and one of the young darlings of the 2023 season, Elly De La Cruz. So, the Reds will likely be O.K. without Marte. But, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little. 
Noelvi was acquired by Cincinnati at the 2022 Trade Deadline when the Reds sent Luis Castillo to the Seattle Mariners. Marte won’t be eligible to return to the Reds lineup until June 25th, when the Reds will be at home against Pittsburgh.

Mookie Betts moving to shortstop for Dodgers is ‘permanent for now’

The Los Angeles Dodgers have made a change in their middle infield as Mookie Betts will become the new starting Shortstop over Gavin Lux. Lux, who has struggled mightily defensively during Spring Training will be moved to 2B with the shorter throw to first. 
Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts said the move is “permanent for now.” Gavin Lux is coming off a nasty injury suffered in Spring Training last season where he tore his ACL, MCL, and had significant damage to his hamstring as well. Not exactly an easy injury to bounce back from.
But this isn’t a new spot for Mookie; Betts came into the MLB as a middle infielder when the Boston Red Sox selected him in the 5th round of the 2011 draft. Mookie played 14 games in his first MLB season at 2B but would eventually be moved to the outfield the following year. However, this isn’t a spontaneous change made by the Dodgers. Last year, Betts played 70 games at second and was announced to be the Dodgers everyday 2B after L.A. signed Shohei Ohtani. When it comes to playing short, Mookie has appeared in 16 games in his career in the position, all coming last year. 
Last season Lux was etched in as the starting shortstop after Trea Turner signed his massive deal with the Philadelphia Phillies before suffering his injury and was slotted in the starting spot this season after recovering from his injury. Lux soared up the ranks for the Dodgers and quickly made a name for himself within the organization as the future of the middle infield for Los Angeles. However, with his injuries and inability to bounce back from them, he has continually fought from behind and cannot solidify himself in the lineup.
Lucky for the Dodgers, they still have numerous players who can slot into the 2B spot if Lux isn’t able to find his footing in Spring Training, including Postseason hero Chris Taylor, veteran Miguel Rojas, and recently re-signed fan favourite Kiké Hernandez. But L.A. would prefer if one of their best young talents could finally step into the spot everyone in the organization expected him to eventually fill. 

Quick Notes:

  • Joey Votto signs a minor league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Votto will receive an invite to Spring Training but says he is ready to start the season in AAA Buffalo. Finally, baseball is right again.
  • MLB Pipeline ranks the Los Angeles Angels as the worst farm system in the league. The Angels only have one player in the top 100 prospects, No. 95 ranked 1B, Nolan Schanuel. 
  • Rangers GM Chris Young says a Jordan Montgomery reunion is unlikely. Young blames the looming TV deal affecting the Rangers’ ability to spend in the offseason. 


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