Posts Tagged ‘Fernando Martinez’

Latest Move Shows How Much Minaya Has Grown

January 23, 2010

“A lot of it is going to depend on how he recuperates,” Mets GM Omar Minaya said. “I don’t want to put a specific time on when he’ll be back.”

Minaya’s comments regarding Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran’s return from arthroscopic knee surgery came after he had just acquired 35-year-old outfielder Gary Matthews, Jr. in a trade from the Los Angeles Angels.

Matthews, Jr. will join Angel Pagan as the most likely candidates for the Mets centerfielder position, barring any further setbacks, of course. The former LA Angel was sent to New York along with the majority of his contract paid in full for right-handed reliever Brain Stokes.

The underachieving veteran could very well become potential trade bait if he makes the most of his opportunities spelling Beltran who is undergoing rehabilitation. With the highly-touted Fernando Martinez waiting in the wings down in Triple-A, I find it hard to believe Matthews, Jr. will be around longer than necessary.

“He’s a very versatile player,” Minaya said of Matthews. “I think it’s going to be an open competition. That’s the same thing that I told Gary [Matthews, Jr.] when he asked that. Nobody’s going to be given a job. Whoever performs is going to be given the opportunity.”

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Surgery Places Beltran Back on the Shelf

January 15, 2010

The big “if” for the Mets heading into the 2010 season just got a little bigger. Centerfielder Carlos Beltran will most likely miss the first month of this season due to arthroscopic knee surgery. Beltran, hampered for most of his career with chronic knee pain, decided on the surgery after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Richard Steadman. Not from Dr. David Altchek, the Mets team physician.

In addition to Beltran’s inability to participate on Opening Day this season, he could very well face legal ramifications from the Mets front office for bypassing a third opinion. Mets assistant GM John Ricco admitted publicly that the Mets organization was disappointed with Beltran’s decision for surgery and argued that they were not afforded the opportunity to proceed otherwise.

With these latest developments, back-up outfielder Angel Pagan and prospect Fernando Martinez will most likely see themselves in a much bigger role than was originally expected.

Even though the calendar year says 2010, it sure feels eerily similar to 2009. Stay tuned.

Pineiro Turns Mets Bats into Ground Beef

June 24, 2009

If any of you ever witnessed the unflattering sight of a fish out of water gasping for air, last night’s performance by the Mets was a close second. St. Louis Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro looked as if he was throwing batting practice to a Little League team yesterday as the Mets managed just two hits. Twenty-two of the right-hander’s twenty-seven outs resulted from ground balls that suffocated any attempt at a Mets rally. The closest a Mets runner got to second base was when their pitcher, Livan Hernandez, bunted him over there.

Pineiro’s complete game shutout was the perfect dose of reality for a Mets’ team that may now be starting to show its true colors. As inconsistent as the Mets have been this month, the usual consistencies abounded. Along with the offense’s stale performance, the loss last night included a customary Mets error, a poor base running decision, Fernando Tatis hitting into a double play, a David Wright strike out, and another wasted outing by their starting pitcher. When the only excitement Mets fans can muster is to anxiously wait for the return of Oliver Perez, predicting rookie prospect Fernando Martinez’ first career home becomes that much more fun.

The Mets will send their newly anointed savior right-hander Fernando Nieve to the mound tonight with the hopes that he will be able to replicate Pineiro’s dominating pitching performance.

It May Be Time for the Mets to Re-evaluate Their Youth Movement

June 17, 2009

Looking at the Mets starting lineup last night against the Baltimore Orioles, one can’t help but notice 20-year-old Fernando Martinez and 24-year-old Daniel Murphy batting second and seventh among a bevy of veteran Mets players. For Martinez, this is just his fourteenth start of the season after being called up on May 26th. So far, the young Mets outfielder’s stint in the big leagues hasn’t been all the glitz and glamour that perhaps he was expecting when he was given the opportunity to play in front of the New York faithful.

In 16 games, including last night’s 6-4 win over the Orioles, Martinez has just eleven hits in 56 at-bats which equates to a .196 batting average. Prior to being placed on the Mets roster, he produced eight home runs and a .291 BA at Buffalo, the Mets Triple-A affiliate. However, Martinez has yet to show off that power and is still waiting for his first career home run.

As the Mets continue to play in American League ballparks, they share the same advantage as their counterparts by having a designated hitter in their lineup. This allows Martinez to play the field and Gary Sheffield to rest his sore knee while he is acting as the Mets DH. Nonetheless, when the team heads home for a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitchers will be back in the lineup and most likely Sheffield will be taking Martinez’ spot in the outfield.

Daniel Murphy, on the other hand, has been with the Mets ball club since day one. After a strong start, Murphy’s offensive production has almost disappeared. Since May 29th, the Mets new first baseman has just five hits in his last 40 at-bats. In that span, Murphy’s batting average has gone from an okay .260 to a miserable .234 while scoring only one run.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel has mentioned that young players would benefit most from playing everyday. Perhaps, he should consider his own advice and option these two young Mets players somewhere else so they can work on getting back on track.

Sheffield and Hernandez Revive the Old Saying: Age before Beauty

May 27, 2009

Mets GM Omar Minaya was the first to break the news prior to yesterday’s game that his shortstop, Jose Reyes, and his right fielder, Ryan Church, were heading to the disabled list retroactive to May 21st and May 23rd, respectively. With that, the possibility for the Mets most talked about prospect, Fernando Martinez, to get his chance at the big league level became a reality. The decision to grant Martinez, 20, the start in right field last night was also prompted by the Mets inability to use their everyday center fielder, Carlos Beltran. Beltran underwent an MRI yesterday which revealed a bone bruise and inflammation of his right tibia that will keep him out of action for at least until Friday’s game against the Florida Marlins. Martinez was hit by a pitch and finished the night 0 for 3 with a RBI.

As Mets fans and the New York media rejoiced over the thought of witnessing the young Martinez on a daily basis, Mets clean up hitter Gary Sheffield, almost twenty years his senior, provided the real firepower in leading the Mets to a 6-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. Sheffield, who is batting .419 over his last ten games, slammed a three-run homerun for the second time in as many nights well over the left-field wall. Unlike last night’s three-run shot, there was no doubt in the validity of this one. Sheffield’s 504th career homerun put the Mets up by five runs and allowed for their starter, Livan Hernandez, to go the distance and pick up his fourth win of the season. Hernandez, 34, is 3-0 in his last five starts. He has pitched 33 and a third innings during that stretch averaging almost seven innings a start.

Tonight the Mets go for the sweep with their ace, Johan Santana, on the mound against the Nationals young right-hander, Jordan Zimmermann. On April 26th, Zimmermann pitched five and a third innings against the Mets. He gave up just one earned run and earned his second win of the season. Since then, he has been mired with four no-decisions and a loss in five starts. He currently has a 2-1 record and a 5.71 ERA.

An All Too Familiar Sign For the Mets

February 7, 2009

“I felt my elbow tighten up,” Mets 20 year-old prospect Fernando Martinez said. “It was a little swollen. It’s better. I feel I can play again. I don’t think I need to fly to New York to get a check up but the Mets want me to.”

The decision to fly Fernando Martinez to New York, at first, was a precautionary measure stemming from previous reports that anti-inflammatory medicine Martinez was taking for his sore right elbow wasn’t quite doing the trick. From a young player’s perspective, it may seem premature to assume that some early season growing pains could amount to anything worse. Martinez hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the top of the seventh inning, on Tuesday, to push the Tigres de Licey past Puerto Rico’s Leones de Ponce, 2-1, in the Caribbean Series. Unfortunately for the Mets, their medical staff was spot-on as the latest news regarding Martinez is that he will be sidelined for three weeks with a right elbow strain.

Martinez is considered the organization’s most coveted prospect. With respect to the Mets last two major off-season trades in which they acquired lefty Johan Santana and righty reliever J.J. Putz, the parties involved met with some prior opposition because of their refusal to give up their interest in the young right handed hitter. In Martinez’ previous two seasons, he has managed to stave off re-location but not injury. In 2007, he missed the final three months with an injured hand. In May and June of last season, he was unable to perform for six weeks with a strained right hamstring. With so much attention being given to Martinez, it’s obvious that the Mets have him in their plans for this up-coming season. With the reluctance to sign a high-profile right handed bat to balance out their lineup, the 20 year-old was sure to be next in line for the job.

The Mets have a history of relying on players who eventually don’t live up to their expectations. Former Mets outfield Alex Ochoa was considered a five-tool player before he was shipped out to Baltimore in a trade. Some experts have stated that Jay Payton was damaged goods by the time the Mets reaped his rewards. Most recently, former Mets outfielders who have followed suit are Preston Wilson and Lastings Milledge.

As we near the start of training camp, the fate of Martinez is just one of many concerns for the Mets that need addressing. Most notably, there are rumblings that the team should bring in another left handed reliever to join Pedro Feliciano who is currently their only lefty in the bullpen.