I just filed a story for tomorrow's paper breaking down the various options to open up a roster space for Shane Victorino. By the time I was done writing it, I was convinced that parting ways with Michael Martinez is the best option. . .
But the Phillies might decide they are better off keeping both Mayberry and Francisco. After all, Manuel still has not started Brown against a left-handed pitcher. And veteran left fielder Raul Ibanez will need a break every now and then. If the Phillies parted with Mayberry or Francisco, their only right-handed pinch-hitting options on days where Ibanez or Brown don't play would be utility men Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez.
Which brings us to Martinez, a 28-year-old jack-of-all-trades who really does not have a clear role on the team. The Phillies liked him enough to select him in the Rule 5 draft, then fell in love with his defensive versatility and base-running ability in spring training. With Jimmy Rollins a free agent after the season and no real successor in the minors, the organization is weak on middle infield depth. And with Chase Utley's knee condition in need of monitoring and the aging Rollins and Placido Polanco at short stop and third base, Martinez provides some security.
The Phillies, who would have to place Martinez on waivers and then offer him back to the Nationals if they were to remove him from the active roster, would love to hang on to him. But unless they are able to work out a trade with Washington for Martinez's exclusive rights, they just might have to say goodbye. He is 9-for-49 with 11 strikeouts, two walks and one extra base hit and at 28 years old does not have the type of upside that the Phillies saw while hanging on to David Herndon all last season. The Phillies already have Wilson Valdez on the active roster, and have a slew of veteran infielders biding their time in Triple-A, including veteran Pete Orr.
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