In need of 40-man roster spots after signing Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston the Mets have placed former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
In his early days as a prospect Martinez was rumored to be the centerpiece of nearly every potential Mets trade and Baseball America ranked him as a top-30 prospect in 2007, 2008, and 2009, but leg injuries and mediocre hitting in the upper minors have derailed his career.
Martinez is still only 23 years old, but he hit just .260 with eight homers and a .746 OPS in 63 games at Triple-A last season and has an ugly 158/46 K/BB ratio in 179 career games at the level.
He’s no longer capable of playing center field and hasn’t hit nearly enough to project as a corner outfield asset, but there’s a decent chance some team will take a flier on Martinez now that there’s no real cost or risk to acquiring him.
Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.
Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.
Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.