Having scored just six runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the hot, hot Dodgers, the Mets have now lost four in a row and are working their way down the NL East standings. Is the sweep to the best team in baseball just a blip in the radar for Johan Santana and the Mets or does it forebode something far worse? A day off today provides too short a respite as they head to Boston on Friday to face a Red Sox team with an equally imposing home record (15-4) as the Dodgers (17-3). Worst of all, shortstop star Jose Reyes went down with another calf ouchie last night and the Mets are already scrambling for a temporary replacement.
Who out there can save the soul of the Metropolitans?
If you were to believe the madding crowd of Mets fans, it's Triple-A stud outfielder Fernando Martinez. Via the cleverly named Mets Merized Online:
From the looks of things the timing may be right for a new direction. I believe we need to have some consistency in at least one of the corner spots. This mish-mash, pot luck strategy that we currently employ at the corners is not working.
I suggest we take a long hard look at Fernando Martinez. Out top prospect was expected to crack our lineup at some point this season anyway, so I say lets accelerate those plans a little.
F-Mart might be just the thing this team needs right now.
Currently, Martinez leads the (Buffalo) Bisons in every statistical category. He is batting .289 with 7 homers and 24 RBI's. He leads the league in doubles with 13, and his 71 total bases rank sixth. His .511 slugging percentage shows his power potential, and his current gap power would play extremely well in CitiField.
With Ryan Church carefully treading every base to stay out of Jerry Manuel's doghouse, the naif Daniel Murphy filling in for Carlos Delgado at first base, and Gary Sheffield...well, Gary Sheffield is actually hitting decently, but none of these guys are everyday players. The Mets are simply filling out two important corner outfield spots with replacement level talent (I stole that line from Drew).
It can only serve Fernando best to play every day; if he'd be punished with a reserve role, his toolsy talents will stop getting toolsier. So if Omar Minaya does decide to promote the young Martinez, he'd better be prepared to make the bold move and play the 20-year-old on a regular basis. But knowing the offensive free agent signings that Minaya made in the offseason to improve their lineup (read: none), I doubt this bold move can happen.