Today Marty Noble is reporting what many have believed for a long time. Despite Jerry Manuel's assertion that he "likes" Ryan Church, most with a pulse and minimal synapses firing in their brains realize Jerry is being less than truthful.
In Noble's article on MLB.com, he predicts that even after Ryan Church and Jose Reyes return from the DL, Fernando Martinez, he of the .174 batting average might remain with the club.
Although Mets management would prefer to have Martinez return to AAA Buffalo to play everyday once the Mets start getting healthy, Manuel when asked if he would rather have Martinez playing part time at the pro level, or playing full time in the minors indicated that "he will afford Martinez every opportunity to win a regular, or almost-regular, assignment in the outfield. Indeed, when asked specifically whether his preference was to retain Martinez at the cost of playing time for other corner outfielders, he said yes."
Manuel continuing about Martinez, "If he's performing, he'll play. He's done OK. He's faced a couple of left-handed pitchers here and there. He hasn't hurt us in the outfield. He's run OK."
Manuel seems intrigued by Martinez' youth, energy and live body appeal.
Further explaining, "In a long summer, that kind of energy can help you win games. We're not the same team we thought we would be without Carlos [Delgado], we need to do things differently. [Martinez] gives us more speed. That helps."
Riddle me this Jerry: what has Church done to have you want to remove him from an everyday starting position in RF? Church has had some unfortunate luck, but has what he done deserved a benching more than Wright? Castillo? Redding? Green? All these players are, or have been struggling throughout the year, but continue to get solid playing time. None of them are as solid in the field as Church? Church brings that 'edge' to the Mets. He hustles, plays hard, is a solid RF with a strong arm, and occasional power. He will never be confused for a Hall Of Famer, but currently with a .174 batting average, neither will Fernando Martinez. Martinez might be a good ball player some day, but right now he is over matched. The proper way to proceed would be to start Church, let Martinez get seasoning in AAA, and sub in Reed, Tatis, et al when Church needs a day.
As a long standing fan, what has Church done that is so blasphemous?