Earlier today we wondered why the Mets hadn't placed Jose Reyes on the disabled list after the shortstop missed seven of the last 10 games. There were probably other reasons that led to Omar Minaya's change of heart, but the Mets did finally shuffle Reyes off the active roster on Tuesday.
Ryan Church, hobbled by a hamstring injury, was also disabled which cleared space on the roster for Fernando Martinez. Martinez, the top prospect in the Mets organization, is only 20, but he had a strong first two months in the International League this season. He's hitting .291 with eight home runs through 178 plate appearances this season, which makes it hard to imagine he won't have a chance to stay with the big club for the long run if he proves able to handle the big leagues.
It seems that Carlos Beltran's knee injury was what finally forced Minaya's hand. Beltran had an MRI today, which showed a bruise, and won't be able to play for the next three games. The team couldn't afford to go into battle with so little flexibility on the roster for another night, which means Martinez gets his shot at the big leagues.
At the very least, Martinez will play every day until Church is back with the team. If he's overmatched, then you send him down and hope that his taste of the Show gives him stuff to work on in AAA. If his precocity extends to the big leagues, though, he can slot in with Church and Gary Sheffield in an outfield corner rotation that won't leave any of the three exposed over long stretches this season.
Reyes' spot will be taken by Wilson Valdez, acquired in a trade from the Indians on Tuesday. Valdez was in AAA, hitting .198, but he has 111 games of big league experience with four different teams. He's the very definition of a replacement level player, but the Mets need that on the roster right now.