Of course there were all those countless times he was strategically brought in to pinch run and then remained in the game to play an infield position or center field. So much versatilty!
And better yet, at age 31 he's coming into his peak athletic years. To get him (reportedly) for a minor-league deal is a major coup for the Phillies. After all, he was a rookie on the team that won a club-record 102 games as the team won its fifth straight NL East title.
Yes folks, Michael Martinez is back!
According to several reports, none from anyone who actually covers the team, the Phillies will bring back Martinez on a minor-league deal. That will give him a chance to show up in spring training to compete for a roster spot or allow the Phillies to hide Martinez at Triple-A and then call him up to spring him on the opposition when they least expect it.
That is, if the reports are true.
If true, it's a bold move and the Phillies were lucky to snap up Martinez before some other team could get him. Teams need to fill out rosters, and depth is especially important at the minor-league level. To have a player with such varied skills as Martinez really puts the Phillies in a great spot...
Of course, only if the reports are accurate.
Martinez was outrighted from the 40-man roster a couple of weeks ago for the second straight season. The Phillies actually announced this one -- it happened. Luckily, the Phillies apparently were able to get Martinez's signature on a minor-deal before the free-agency period opened. Selected in the Rule 5 draft from Washington in December of 2010, Martinez joins other illustrious names in team lore that were stealthly snagged from the Rule 5 draft. There's Shane Victorino and David Herndon. They also got Todd Pratt, Dave Hollins and Mike Mimbs in the Rule 5, too.
Martinez batted .175 with zero homers and three RBIs in 29 games during the 2013 season and is a career .187 hitter with five homers and 34 RBIs in 162 games. Clearly Martinez shows that stats are meaningless because why else would he get another deal?
Meanwhile, lefty starting pitcher John Lannan was outrighted from the 40-man roster and cleared waivers. This story is actually true. The Phillies confirmed it. In fact, the Phillies announced it. Rather than re-joining the club on a minor-league deal, Lannan elected to become a free agent ... hey, lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Or in this case, once.
* not really