Looks like one-time uber prospect Fernando Martinez is destined to start his season with Triple A Buffalo. Despite the fact that the CF job (until Carlos Beltran comes back….whenever that may be) has yet to be claimed by either Angel Pagan or Gary Matthews, Jr., it appears as if F-Mart has no chance to slip in front of those two. During yesterdays SNY broadcast of the Mets tilt vs. the Cardinals, Gary Cohen relayed the word he got from Omar Minaya that Martinez will indeed start the year down on the farm. I have only one question…..Why?
Typical Mets to jump the gun on this one. Its March, 16th, a full 3 weeks before the Mets open the season against the Marlins at Citi Field. If F-Mart was struggling in the first few weeks of spring training games, I’d say it would be a no brainer to make this call. Last time I checked, the dude was anything but struggling. As of yesterday, Martinez was hitting a cool .591 this March, with 2 HR and 7 RBIs to his credit. Why on earth would you make a definitive decision to send someone down when they are putting up these types of stats and looking really good doing it.
Omar’s argument is that the Mets want Martinez to be guaranteed full time at-bats and the only way to do that is to have him be the starting CF at in Buffalo. That’s all well and good, but why not give the guy consistent ABs up with the big club, for what I am sure will be at least a month until Beltran hopefully reappears? If he stinks up the joint, send him down and go from there. Does anyone really have that much of an affinity for Pagan or Matthews that would be upset if Martinez stepped in front of those guys in the pecking order? Right now, I believe F-Mart gives the best chance to win and it gives Mets fans a little hope and something exciting to watch, a scenario which the faithful are in desperate need of.
I understand the kid is only 21 and has plenty of room for growth and all that jazz but what the hell Mets. Shake it up. I have read that there is already some interest from other clubs about Matthews. Deal him away if you have to and give Martinez a shot to shine. I may be a little biased based on the fact that I got a chance to see the kid take BP up close and personal in Port St. Lucie a few weeks back. When I tell you he was stinging the ball all over the park with a sound that you just don’t hear off many guys’ bats……well, you’d probably believe me after watching him tear the cover off the ball this spring. Don’t be fooled by last year’s failings. I believe this kid is something special and the time is NOW to find out.