Musing Martinez

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York has it on the authority of “organizational sources” that Fernando Martinez, the Mets one-time top prospect and former Teenage Hitting Machine, is waiting in the wings in Denver in case banged-up Ike Davis needs a DL stint.

Ostensibly, there’s not much news here. If Ike stays healthy, Martinez, who has hit to a tune of .292 in Buffalo so far, can easily be shipped back to the North Country. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

Even if Ike avoids the Disabled List for his strained calf/balky ankle sustained from carrying the weight of the Mets’ offense colliding with David Wright on Tuesday, Martinez is a viable option to replace a struggling Willie Harris on the Mets abysmal bench. Harris, who has struggled mightily in the past month, is easily replaced by Jason Pridie’s¬†surprising power and ability to play center (in a very small sample-size, of course). Although Terry Collins may be hesitant to shift Carlos Beltran back to center field, Martinez could slide easily into right field with regular at-bats. Pridie can be moved to the bench, and theoretically be protected from being over-exposed too fast. With a Mets’ regime trying to squeeze every bit of value from its assets (something the Minaya/Manuel duo seemed loathe to do), limiting Pridie’s at-bats may transform him into a more-valuable Willie Harris off the bench, at least for the short term.

If Davis is inevitably disabled, Martinez, who can fill in at first in a pinch, can push Daniel Murphy back to second if Justin Turner doesn’t match up well against that day’s starter. Turner returns to the bench, Beltran to right, Pridie to center. Although providing roster flexibility is not (and certainly was not) the ideal role for Martinez, any major league at-bats are a precious commodity for the oft-hurt outfielder. With Angel Pagan still out indefinitely, roster creativity remains the Mets’ best bet to, at the least, sustain their current level of outfield production.

That is, unless Martinez suddenly is adopt the moniker of the ¬†“22 Year-Old Hitting Machine.”

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