When we last left the Three Fernandos, they were defeating the evil forces of El Guapo (Derek Jeter), his right-hand man Jefe (Alex Rodriguez) and his left-hand man Castillo (Mark Teixeira). The Fernandos were able to thwart the Yankee bandits by confusing them into thinking they were everywhere. Dressed in matching Mets jerseys, the firepower provided by the bats of Gary Sheffield and Omir Santos and the cleanup crew of Sean Green and Francisco Rodriguez provided cover for the Three Fernandos so they could offer their contributions and save the Mets village from being taken over after suffering an embarrassing setback the night before. They were able to ride off into the sunset, knowing they had done their job.
Alas, that may have been the swan song for our heroes. As of this afternoon, Fernando Martinez was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo. He was replaced on the roster by first baseman/outfielder Nick Evans. In his first 18 games with the Mets, Martinez was hitting a paltry .194. Although he was making good contact (10 K’s in 70 at-bats), he was due to lose playing time to Gary Sheffield now that the Mets were coming home and would no longer require the use of a designated hitter.
With Nick Evans being summoned up to the big club, he may end up taking time away from Fernando Tatis at first base. Tatis has not performed as well as he did during last year’s Comeback Player of the Year campaign. In 119 at-bats this season (including tonight’s game), he is hitting .261 with only two HR and 13 RBI, compared to a .297, 11 HR, 47 RBI line last year in 273 at-bats. Evans was surely not called up to sit on the bench, so it appears as if the veteran Tatis might lose some starts to give Evans some playing time.
As the third member of our trio, Fernando Nieve has pitched very well in his brief stint with the Mets. Including tonight’s performance, Nieve has been impressive, pitching to the tune of a 1.84 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. He has won both of his starts and will make a third start due to the minor setback suffered by John Maine in Port St. Lucie. However, when Maine comes off the disabled list, Nieve will either be sent to the bullpen or back to the minor leagues. It is highly unlikely that a third consecutive strong outing by Nieve will keep him in the rotation, unless if Mets manager Jerry Manuel decides to move Tim Redding out of his spot.
Fernando Tatis is still with the team but might be facing a reduced role. Fernando Nieve’s role as a starter might change soon regardless of his performance. Fernando Martinez has already been released from his role in the Three Fernandos, although he will more than likely be called up again before the end of the season. Will the Three Fernandos be allowed to ride again? That is something that will be answered in time. Until then, I leave you with their mantra: