Grading the Starting Rotation Performance in April
When A.J. Griffin, who was already filling in for an injury riddled rotation, went down with an injury, Nick Martinez was asked to make some spot starts and eat as many innings as possible. He did more than that in his two April starts.
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He gave up four runs in 13 innings, striking out ten batters and walking only one. It’s an incredibly small sample size, obviously, but his two starts were encouraging for a pitcher with a career 5.14 FIP.
His fastball velocity was up a whole three miles per hour over his career average. The leap in velocity helped lead to a 3.24 value on his fastball, his career high is 0.04.
He also relied on his curveball at a rate much higher than his career average. He threw his curveball 14 percent of the time compared to his seven percent average.
To say Martinez’s curveball has been poor up to this point in his career would be putting it lightly. The best value he’s ever had with the pitch is -1.88 in 2015.
In April Martinez’s curveball had a value of 5.32 which made it the third best curveball among starters with at least ten innings pitched. His 3.48 slider value made his slider the ninth best.
Next: Has Keone Kela Learned His Lesson?
While it’s far to small of a sample size to fully gauge Martinez at this point, he looked like a completely different pitcher in the month of April.