Although the decision to bring up Fernando Martinez was met with 50/50 support on this site when we were lobbying heavily for his callup, I bet that at least some of those opposing Mets fans agree that F-Mart has been a fine addition and has held his own.
When talking to reporters after last nights game, Jerry Manuel pretty much confirmed that the Mets prized rookie will stick around when Ryan Church is expected to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.
Manuel stated that he plans to give plenty of rest to 40-year old Gary Sheffield, so that he will be healthier and ready for the upcoming inter league series where Sheffield will assume DH duties. The Mets will be taking on the Yankees in their new stadium, and then travel to Camden Yards to play the Orioles.
Manuel does not believe it will be any problem finding at-bats for 20-year old Martinez who needs regular playing time to further his development.
“Playing American League clubs and having the DH would obviously give us some room and time to play Fernando and maybe DH Sheffield,” Manuel said. “So I think we have time. I don’t think we have to make that decision for Martinez as early as Sunday.”
What happens to F-Mart after inter-league play is over is still anyones guess, but if he continues to play as he has of late, there’s no way the Mets will send him back to Class-AAA Buffalo.
After starting his Mets career going 0-for-8, Martinez has really turned it on lately and was hitting .316 going into last night’s game. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Omar Minaya as reported by MLB.com,
“I think he’s handled himself, understanding that this kid is a 20-year-old kid developing, he’s handled himself and handled Major League pitching well,” Minaya said. “That being said, it’s Jerry Manuel’s call. It’s not going to be a situation where he’s not going to play a lot, from a development standpoint. We need to get this kid playing.”
For now, Manuel has made the call and Fernando Martinez will remain a Met, but if F-Mart wants to stick around longterm he may have to continue to make his case with his glove, his cleats and his bat.