The Phillies made a series of transactions Thursday, placing Chase Utley on the 15-day DL and calling up Michael Stutes and Michael Martinez to fill two roster spots.
Stutes should be more effective out of the 'pen than Phillippe Aumont, who was optioned to Triple-A after Wednesday's win in Miami. Aumont had allowed 29 baserunners in 13 innings and was unable to consistently repeat his delivery. He'll work on that at Lehigh Valley.
Stutes had a 3.33 ERA for the Iron Pigs, with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings. He had a breakout 2011 with the Phillies but was overworked and needed shoulder surgery early in the 2012 season.
The strange move is, of course, bringing back Martinez. What does he add to a team that already has Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen?
Martinez has hit .188 since 2011, which is the lowest batting average in the National League among players with at least 350 plate appearances. His .241 OBP is also worst in the NL during that span. And his .272 slugging percentage is second-worst to Paul Janish.
Martinez doesn't run better than Pete Orr, who was another candidate to fill Utley's roster spot. It's just a strange move all around. The Phillies continue to see potential, or something, in the 30-year-old Martinez that just isn't there. He's been held hitless in 87 of 133 major-league games.
Why not at least see what 23-year-old Cesar Hernandez can do for a short while? He wouldn't play everyday but he'd be able to get maybe a game a week, and also pinch-hit. Hernandez, batting .312 at AAA, has hit at every level and is at least a piece for the future.
Or what about Darin Ruf, who recovered after a slow April and is hitting .262/.339/.433 at Lehigh Valley? No, he doesn't have a true position here, but neither does Evan Gattis in Atlanta, and you see how he's still contributing even after Brian McCann's return. Yeah, Gattis can catch and that sets him apart, but a lot of his production has come off the bench.
Hernandez, Ruf, even Orr would have added more than Martinez. This is the definition of a status quo move. Just because Mini-Mart can physically stand at second, short, third and center doesn't mean he adds any value whatsoever at those positions. And it's not as if you'll be benching Ben Revere, John Mayberry or Jimmy Rollins for him any time soon with the offense far from healthy.