When the Philadelphia Phillies recalled utility player Michael Martinez, I was once again left scratching my head. Martinez made his Phillies debut on April 3, 2011 against the Houston Astros substituting for the injured center fielder Shane Victorino. Believe it or not, he had a hit and a run batted in that game.
Since that April day in 2011, Martinez has made nothing of his at-bats, appearances, etc. In 2011, he appeared in 88 games, tallying 209 at-bats and had an average of a whopping .196. If that isn’t impressive enough, his OBP was .258 and he had nearly as many strikeouts (35) as hits (41).
In 2012, with over half a season under his belt, Martinez again cracked the starting lineup at various positions and made his share of pinch-hit appearances. During that campaign, not much has changed. Martinez batted .174, including an 0-for-20 stretch from mid-August to early September. He finished the year compiling three doubles, two HR and seven RBIs (all worse than 2011).
Enter 2013, where he finally failed to make the opening day roster. Good news, right?
Well, during a span in May, Martinez was called up only to be re-assigned to triple-A … before being called up yet again and sent back down — you get the idea. Overall, Martinez has batted .176 and has been unable to hit a home run or even an extra-base hit for that matter. Granted, the man only has six hits, but still.
All of those numbers being put into perspective, Ruben Amaro Jr. obviously didn’t plan on having guys like Victorino, Chase Utley and others being hurt throughout this process. Even still, as a player that has over half a season of experience should be a little better than he has shown, right?
The only reason Martinez has made appearances as much as he has was because he was one of Charlie Manuel‘s “guys.” For some reason, Manuel loved Martinez and inserted him numerous times, despite the circumstance.
Granted, Martinez does have the versatility angle going for him seeing he can play a plethora of positions, but at the plate he is still abysmal. In three seasons, he has failed to make an impression on the Phillies. Michael Martinez should be sent back to whatever little league team he came from to learn how to play.
As long as Martinez factors into the Phillies lineup in any way, shape or form, they will continue to struggle.