In a word: no. Now your probably saying to yourself, well that’s a dumb question to ask if you can answer it so quickly. Maybe it is. The issue is Fernando Martinez is destroying the baseball in spring training this year. Normally I would probably be calling for him to get the start in CF while Beltran is hurt feeling he has by far the largest upside of any of the other candidates (Angel Pagan, Gary Mathews Jr.).
Problem is we have been down this road before. Unfortunately we can’t take a chance and just stick the kid in there to see what we might have, because the Mets have already done that a few times with this guy and it’s turned out to be bad moves. The Mets previously had this focus on rushing prospects to the majors and thus far it hasn’t turned out very well. Aside from Reyes and Wright we haven’t really had anyone of note come out of the minors to actually help the big club.
Martinez is certainly showing that he deserves to be in the discussion, and definitely showing that he hasn’t lost his skills that made him so exciting, even if he has lost some of his luster as a prospect. Leave this kid alone, let him go down to AAA and work day in and day out on getting better. Getting stronger. Getting more comfortable. This is a guy who killed winter-ball and was named Caribbean Series MVP so he’s showing signs of harnessing that talent. Most people forget that he is only 20 years old and that’s because he’s been on our close radar for 3-4 years now. We should just count our blessings that the Mets brass and namely Tony Bernazard haven’t ruined this kid with their express-checkout minor league program.
What’s so wrong with letting guys like F-Mart, Ike Davis, Josh Thole, and Jenrry Mejia go down to AAA and work on their game one more year. Not to mention get to know each other and build some comradery between each other and look for an impact, in force, in 2011. This goes back to my other article (Sit down Mets fans, we need to talk) about realistically looking at the Mets season and realizing this team is not abut now, despite whatever silly slogan the Mets put out there this year. Heck you could even convince me that Wally Backman should be moved from Brooklyn to Buffalo so he can work with these kids as it sure appears more then likely he will be managing the big club next year.
Even if Fernando hit’s .750 the rest of camp, they must resist any urge and send him down to AAA. Go ahead and have the talk with the kid now so there isn’t any confusion later. The best thing for Fernando is to go down and season for another year in AAA and focus on preparing himself to tear it up in 2011.
Patience is not a virtue in great supply around Citi Field these days, but for this Mets fan there is one area I really want to see some patience by everyone involved, and that’s with this group of kids that really looks like they could be something special.