Yo Adrian! Martin Does it all for Lugnuts

The Lansing Lugnuts' bullpen this season has provided quality innings when the team has needed them most. However, Adrian Martin has provided these innings as a starter in addition to being a reliever. Martin features a repertoire that includes a 2-seam and 4-seam fastball, curveball, slider and a work in progress changeup. This new changeup is being worked on for a specific reason as well.

"A changeup is really a good compliment to a down and away sinker to a lefty," says Martin, "but the biggest thing is to make it look like a fastball and keep down and locate it."

In four years, Martin has played for 3 different teams. But this time, the game plan which he tries to execute has not changed.

"I'm a groundball pitcher, and if I can get a guy out in two or three pitches or even less, that's what I want to do. I've been with Tom [Lansing pitching coach] for a few years now and the game plan with him is to execute one quality pitch at a time.

Adrian Martin's whole career has been a model of consistency when it comes to locating pitches. If there is a downside to this it is that he generally finds himself locating them in one specific area - the strike zone.

"Since I was nine years old I have been accused of throwing too many good strikes to hitters. I was asked in college why I can throw the ball through a key hole but I can't throw it six inches off the plate. It is just something I am working on doing."

This year he has only allowed one walk to go with his 1.15 ERA but being this consistent still has room for improvement in his eyes.

"I still give up my fair share of two-strike hits because of those good strikes I throw. I am working on that and doing my best to work the count a little better."

His pitch location and sense of belongingness and control on the hill doesn't come from any cogent act before the game or during it. According to the pitcher, he doesn't really have any unique superstitions that he follows when on the hill - he just plays. However, he does have his own unique warm up ritual that he follows.

"I jump over the lines on the way to the hill, sure, but other than that I just stand behind the hill - when I get my eight pitches between innings - and throw two from back there. A lot of the guys noticed it here and I have been doing it ever since high school. I don't know why I do it, but it helps me get good extension on the ball."

Even though the teams that Martin has played on recently have fluctuated, he still has had some taste of success. Adrian threw the back-half of a no-hitter, with Robert Ray throwing the initial part of it back in August of 2005.

"A lot of guys go through their whole career and don't throw one, so to be apart of that was definitely something that was very special. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Going in the game as a reliever I was just focused on going out there and getting outs, but with a no-hitter going obviously there is a little more pressure. Fortunately, I was able to do it."

When there is a call to the bullpen made as of late and you know all that you need are strikes, Adrian Martin is your man. When there is a spot open in the rotation and you need quality innings thrown, Adrian Martin is still your man. No matter the game state or the inning - he is devoted to going out and just making smart pitches for this team.

The next time they want to start him though, maybe they should just hold off and put him in to start the 5th inning - It worked the first time, maybe no hits will happen again?

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