Martin Continues Transitioning

PORTLAND, ME - The six-foot seven-inch Chris Martin has an imposing presence on the mound. With a fastball that tops 95 mph, the big right-hander has the ability to overpower opposing batters. While Martin could be considered one of the older guys on the team [he will turn 26 years old this June], 2012 is only his second year in professional baseball.

"It's a nice story," pitching coach Bob Kipper said, "he was signed last year at Spring Training, basically, after a try-out. His first outing [with Portland] was the Future's game at Fenway Park and I thought he represented himself very well there."

Last year he played at three different levels: seven games with Single-A Greenville, thirteen games with Single-A Salem, and he finished the year appearing in three games with Double-A Portland.

Martin did not start a single game all year in 2011 with any of the clubs he played with but must have impressed the Portland coaching staff as he has already started four games for the Sea Dogs in 2012.

"He has really done a nice job with his delivery. It is a little more fluid than it was last year," manager Kevin Boles said. "He is better from the stretch this year. He has a fastball with life and he has a pretty interesting slider. He has got a lot going for him. We really like him."

In five appearances this year [the fifth was a scheduled start but he, instead, came in after Daisuke Matsuzaka completed his rehab assignment with Portland last Saturday afternoon] Martin is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.042 over 24 innings. His strikeout to walk ratio (6:1) speaks to his improving command and his ability to throw both his fastball and slider, consistently, for strikes.

"The last three outings he has really started to develop a legitimate feel for [his slider] and today he showed the ability to throw it early in the counts to steal strikes. It had a finishing type of effect," said Kipper, "at times inducing swings and misses."

"The fastball has been there. The slider, last year, wasn't so good. It didn't have a whole lot of break to it, now it has a good slider break to it. The changeup is coming along pretty good. I'm getting there, I like the starting role," confessed Martin.

Over the offseason Martin followed the team workout program closely while running and throwing on his own in his home state of Texas. When he came to camp this spring things were a little different from last season.

"They stretched me out so I threw a lot more. I had fourteen innings. Last year I think I had five before they had me go back to my team."

As for the rest of the season, Martin will continue working hard to improve.

"I'm feeling good. I'm working on the mental part of the game and my secondary pitches. I'm trying to throw everything for strikes."

When asked what he thought of relieving Daisuke Matsuzaka last Saturday afternoon Martin replied cheerfully, "Daisuke? After his standing ovation? It was fun. Hopefully I get to do it again sometime in Boston."


Diehard Magazine Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's a nice story,\" pitching coach Bob Kipper said, \"he was signed last year at Spring Training, basically, after a try-out. His first outing [with Portland] was the Future's game at Fenway Park and I thought he represented himself very well there.\"
\r\n
\r\nLast year he played at three different levels: seven games with Single-A Greenville, thirteen games with Single-A Salem, and he finished the year appearing in three games with Double-A Portland.
\r\n
\r\nMartin did not start a single game all year in 2011 with any of the clubs he played with but must have impressed the Portland coaching staff as he has already started four games for the Sea Dogs in 2012.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has really done a nice job with his delivery. It is a little more fluid than it was last year,\" manager Kevin Boles said. \"He is better from the stretch this year. He has a fastball with life and he has a pretty interesting slider. He has got a lot going for him. We really like him.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn five appearances this year [the fifth was a scheduled start but he, instead, came in after Daisuke Matsuzaka completed his rehab assignment with Portland last Saturday afternoon] Martin is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a WHIP of just 1.042 over 24 innings. His strikeout to walk ratio (6:1) speaks to his improving command and his ability to throw both his fastball and slider, consistently, for strikes.
\r\n
\r\n\"The last three outings he has really started to develop a legitimate feel for [his slider] and today he showed the ability to throw it early in the counts to steal strikes. It had a finishing type of effect,\" said Kipper, \"at times inducing swings and misses.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The fastball has been there. The slider, last year, wasn't so good. It didn't have a whole lot of break to it, now it has a good slider break to it. The changeup is coming along pretty good. I'm getting there, I like the starting role,\" confessed Martin.
\r\n
\r\nOver the offseason Martin followed the team workout program closely while running and throwing on his own in his home state of Texas. When he came to camp this spring things were a little different from last season.
\r\n
\r\n\"They stretched me out so I threw a lot more. I had fourteen innings. Last year I think I had five before they had me go back to my team.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs for the rest of the season, Martin will continue working hard to improve.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm feeling good. I'm working on the mental part of the game and my secondary pitches. I'm trying to throw everything for strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhen asked what he thought of relieving Daisuke Matsuzaka last Saturday afternoon Martin replied cheerfully, \"Daisuke? After his standing ovation? It was fun. Hopefully I get to do it again sometime in Boston.\"
\r\n
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