During the month of April, Nick Martinez was one of the best stories in baseball. A relatively unheralded 18th round selection in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, Martinez struggled last season, posting a 5-12 record with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.461 WHiP. This season, he came out of the gates looking like the second coming of Tim Keefe, posting a 0.35 ERA and a 1.115 WHiP in the month of April.
Since the calender flipped to May, Martinez has struggled. This week was no exception, as Martinez had his second difficult outing, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk in 4.2 innings of work on Thursday night against the Rays. On the plus side, the Texas Rangers did win both of his outings this month, but Martinez has looked rather shaky both times out.
Of course, as a not quite 25 year old pitcher in the majors, Nick Martinez is going to have his struggles at times. Add in the fact that Martinez is essentially a ground ball pitcher who is not going to strike out many batters, and his ceiling may be rather limited. In fact, Martinez may well turn out to be another Jeremy Hellickson type pitcher.
Nick Martinez is not as great as he was for the Texas Rangers in the month of April, and he is not as bad as his previous outing would indicate. He has the makings of being a solid middle of the rotation starter, and that may be all he needs to be when the rotation is healthy. However, the Rangers need more from Martinez this year than they have gotten in May.
Next: An Odoriferous performance