Rafael Martin was a great Cinderella story once upon a time, but the clock struck midnight for him long ago. A junkballing right-hander whose fastball no longer even sniffs 90 mph, the 32-year-old is still able to strike out minor league hitters with his slider, but his overall numbers at Triple-A Syracuse were poor and he was used sparingly during a September call-up. The Nationals do have some openings in their bullpen heading into 2017, but Martin is a long shot to be anything more than organizational depth for Washington.
Martin will compete for a spot in the Nationals' bullpen this spring. The 32-year-old has spent the last two seasons bouncing back and forth between Washington and Triple-A Syracuse, and while his minor league K-rate has been good, it come with sometimes shaky control and a sub-90 mph fastball. That's not a combination built for success in the majors, so expect Martin to begin the 2017 season back in the minors and continue providing depth when injuries hit the Nats' staff.
Martin was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Martin was just recalled from Syracuse on Monday, providing temporary depth in the bullpen prior to Lucas Giolito's Tuesday call-up. Martin has otherwise spent all of 2016 in the minors.
Martin was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday, Mark Zuckerman of MASN reports. Martin will come up to provide bullpen insurance Monday night, but the belief is that it could only be a one-day stint with the big league club. The Nationals still need to recall a starter to take the hill Tuesday night, so Martin would seem to be the obvious roster casualty when that move is made.
Martin was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday. Martin spent the bulk of 2015 at the Triple-A level, posting a 3.27 ERA and 0.985 WHIP across 66.0 innings. He also made 13 appearances for the Nationals, in which he went 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA (12.1 innings). The 31-year-old figures to have a decent chance of earning his way back to the major league bullpen at some point later in the year.
The Nationals announced they have recalled a pair of pitchers from Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday. Right-hander Rafael Martin and left-hander Matt Grace were both added to the active roster. Both pitchers saw limited action with the Nationals earlier in 2015. They will provide manager Matt Williams with fresh arms out of a beleaguered bullpen down the stretch.