On June 25, I am driving down to New York with my brother and my friends Chris and Billy to see the Mets and Cardinals play at Citi Field. The weekly countdown in my planner should be more than enough to convey how much I’m looking forward to the trip (which will also include stops in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Cooperstown; I might be filing daily dispatches from the road).
This is assuming, however, that anybody on the Mets is healthy by the time June 25 rolls around. Jose Reyes? Injured. Carlos Delgado? Injured. Carlos Beltran? Might be injured. Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, Oliver Perez? Injured, injured, injured. David Wright? You are…safe. For now.
If there is a silver lining to all this destruction, it’s that Fernando Martinez (who I’d like to call Redux, because he’s probably the most anticipated Fernando since Valenzuela; I don’t even think I’m using the word right, but trust me, it makes sense in my head) will get a chance to show what he can do at the major league level.
Martinez, the prized prospect the Mets refused to trade for Johan Santana before last season, is twenty-years-old. He began the year in AAA Buffalo, where he was off to the best power start of his four-year career (eight homeruns and .552 slugging percentage in 178 plate appearances) before being called up to New York when Reyes was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He made his major league debut earlier tonight, batting sixth and going o-3 with two strikeouts and an RBI groundout.
There’s no telling how long Redux (relax, I’m just trying it out) will be in the major leagues. It probably depends on some combination of his performance and Beltran’s health (he has a bruise below his knee and an inflamed tibia, for what it’s worth). Best guess is that he sticks for awhile, fills some gaps until everyone comes back, then heads back to Buffalo so he can get regular at-bats.
But hey, if he’s around on June 25, I won’t complain.