PITTSBURGH -- Unless Justin Maxwell has a huge September, fellow outfielder J.D. Martinez is going to end up leading the Astros in RBIs this year despite spending nearly a month at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Martinez was among four players called up to join the team Tuesday at PNC Park.
Martinez was the Astros' starting left fielder and hit .235 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs before being sent down on Aug. 9. Martinez played in 23 games for the RedHawks and hit .233 with six doubles and four RBIs in 23 games and said he worked on simplifying his swing with Triple-A hitting coach Leon Roberts.
"We just worked on simplifying everything, trying to get back to what made me good and what made me effective -- what parts of my swing used to stand out," Martinez said. "We watched a lot of film. He gave me his advice. I listened to it. We tried some things. Some things worked. Some didn't. Here I am now."
Astros interim manager Tony DeFrancesco had Martinez for a couple of weeks before DeFrancesco was promoted, and he said the key for Martinez is trying to eliminate some of the extra movement in his stride and his hands.
"Sometimes the fastball's on top of him and he just can't react as quick," DeFrancesco said.