I have begun to hear rumors about the Mets looking to trade Ryan Church. It seems Fernando Martinez is doing very well in the minors.
That’s all fine and dandy, but here is my question. Can he stay healthy? I would be really upset if he came up and he became the next Alex Escobar. I’m sure you remember Escobar. He was “the next big” thing. He was going to be the Mets superstar. After the Mets traded him, the only big thing he became, was “the overrated flop”.
Besides, you want to trade Church away for what? He is the only one on the Mets roster who can handle right field at Citi Field right now.
You can’t throw Gary Sheffield out there every day. He’s like a fish out of water. Nor can you do that with Jeremy Reed even though he is younger. I would not put Fernando Tatis out there. Leave him in left as a platoon or keep him for the infield.
Speed is crucial because you do have to get to the balls fast. Since the outfield is so vast, you have to be able to run a ball down. Martinez also needs to have a strong arm to be able to throw the ball to the infield from the Modell’s sitting area. He has that.
In Triple-A his fielding percentage for right field in 12 games is .938. While in eight games, his left field percentage is 1.000. While they are good numbers, you have to think about RF in Citi Field. It has all of those nooks and crannies. I’m not sure he can handle that just yet. I think he could handle LF. It doesn’t seem as ominous as RF.
Who will mentor the kid when he comes up in September? Sheffield? He can barely handle RF. Church would be the best person for that.
Plus, if you bring up Martinez, you are going to have two kids struggling in the outfield. Daniel Murphy is still learning. I don’t think I have to remind you the mistakes he’s made and will continue to make. You put Carlos Beltran in the position of covering almost the entire OF. You will wear him down. He’s not a spring chicken anymore.
I don’t understand why everyone is so anxious to bring this kid up. He’s only 20 years old. He isn’t going anywhere. Give him some time. He’s spent most of last year and 2007 with injuries starting with his hamstring. Martinez needs to develop more. If you bring him up too soon, you hurt his development. Do you want that on your conscious?
The Mets have to be desperate to implement this plan. I don’t think they are at the point. They are starting to come together. After all, they are in first place…and without their $36 million starter.