The old joke on Saturday Night Live, delivered by Chevy Chase back in the day, was that Generalissimo Francisco Franco was still dead.
The joke on Philadelphia Phillies fans these days is that Michael Martinez is still living in their farm system and now on the big club. Martinez, a career .186 hitter in the major leagues (and a career .239 hitter in the minors), was called up on May 24, spent about a month with the club and was thankfully sent back down. Martinez got called up again because the Phillies are short on middle infielders and “supposedly” Martinez is the best available option.
Martinez also was called up three times in 2012. It says a lot about the current state of the Phillies organization that they are so desperate for players that they have to keep calling up Martinez. This is a guy who had only four hits in his last 27 at-bats for the Class-AAA Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Iron Pigs. That certainly calls for a promotion to the majors, doesn’t it?
For a Phillies fan base who just over the winter heard rumors of sexy names like Josh Hamilton and Michael Cuddyer coming to town, hearing the name Michael Martinez again invokes just one response, a John McEnroe signature rant, “You can’t be serious?”
Evidently, the Phillies are and it’s as good a reason as any to stock the farm now so there are no more players Michael Martinez in their future.