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Marlins Option Osvaldo Martinez to Triple-A

Earlier today, the Marlins announced that infielder Osvaldo Martinez would be sent to Triple-A in order to free up roster space for the starting pitcher of Wednesday afternoon's game, Elih Villanueva.

In order to make the move, the Marlins also had to free up a 40-man roster spot by shifting ace Josh Johnson to the 60-day disabled list, meaning that the Marlins won't have their best pitcher back until at least after the All Star break. So this isn't exactly a great day for Marlins fans, particularly when you note how Martinez's game has regressed as well.

Martinez, 23, is viewed by some as a potential long-term solution at shortstop or second base for the Marlins; he was ranked No. 4 among Marlins prospects by Kevin Goldstein coming into the season. Equipped with strong contact skills, Martinez managed to post a .300/.370/.399 line at Double-A last season, but his numbers have totally fallen apart in 22 games at Triple-A this season.

Some were likely hoping that he would be able to emerge as a possible replacement for Omar Infante at second base next season, or possibly as an alternative to Hanley Ramirez at shortstop (pushing Han Ram to the outfield), but right now he's going to need a big showing at Triple-A to place himself back on track to get a chance to start at some point.

When the Marlins look to replace Infante, a soon-to-be free agent, at the end of the season, they'll still likely look at Martinez, as well as Emilio Bonifacio and maybe even the recently-signed Jose Lopez. But the young shortstop hasn't done much to help his stock yet this year.