José Martínez suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee yesterday, Mets manager Luis Rojas told reporters (including Anthony DiComo of MLB.com and Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News). The first baseman/corner outfielder will undergo surgery this weekend. He is expected to be out around four months.
Martínez was injured when he collided with the first base umpire trying to field a ground ball in yesterday’s Spring Training game. It’s a tough blow, as he was looking to earn a bench role after signing a split contract with New York in January. Martínez will now spend a rather significant chunk of the season on the injured list and seemingly isn’t assured of an MLB roster spot even when he returns.
A very productive hitter early in his career with the Cardinals, Martínez has tailed off at the plate over the past two seasons. He put up a league average .269/.340/.410 line with St. Louis in 2019 and stumbled to a .182/.265/.295 mark over 98 plate appearances for the Rays and Cubs last year. Performing at the plate is especially important for Martínez, who has always rated as a below-average defender at both first base and in the outfield.