Martes was shut down with right elbow discomfort in late April after walking 17 batters and posting a 6.75 ERA and 2.31 WHIP across 18.2 innings with Triple-A Fresno. He underwent a follow-up MRI in Houston that revealed no structural damage, but the Astros aren't eager to rush the righty back to Triple-A. He'll likely remain at extended spring training to build up his arm for the next couple of weeks before the Astros map out a return date for him.
Martes has been named to start the third game of the season for Triple-A Fresno, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Martes had a strong spring and made a case to be on the Opening Day roster as a reliever, but will be part of the Grizzlies' rotation. The organization views him as a starter long term.
Though he was trimmed from the roster, Martes will rejoin the Astros on March 24 for his previously scheduled Grapefruit League start against the Red Sox, according to Kaplan. Martes, who has impressed this spring with a 1.93 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 9.1 innings across four appearances, is expected to begin the season at Triple-A Fresno, where he'll continue his development as a starter. Despite his prospect pedigree and strong spring, however, Martes won't necessarily be first in line to join the big-league rotation should an injury hit the starting ranks, as Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock likely top the list of replacement options.
Martes could be called up at anytime to fill in as a starter or reliever for Houston this season, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Manager A.J. Hinch was impressed at how Martes threw Saturday when he struck out four over 2.2 innings of relief, but the club will continue to groom him as a starter. The manager was particularly pleased that the right-hander incorporated more of his changeup, a pitch he barely threw while up with the Astros in 2017. "That's a sign of maturity for him," Hinch said. "That's also an understanding that that's going to be an important pitch for him." Martes, using mainly a fastball-slider combination last year, carried a bloated 5.80 ERA with 31 walks over 54.1 innings into the offseason. Developing a third pitch and harnessing the command of his high-90s heater are the top goals for Martes, who will open the season as a member of the starting rotation at Triple-A Fresno.
Martes has showed improve control during spring bullpen sessions, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Better control was just one of a few improvements Martes brought to camp. The 22-year-old right-hander also trimmed up his husky frame and slowed down his delivery, which had been the root cause of his control problems last year (5.1 BB/9, 54.1 IP) when he was up with the Astros. He tended to spray the ball when the delivery was rushed. The mid-90s fastball is still there and his slider can play in MLB, however, Martes will not take the next step without improving his control. Given good health among Houston's projected starting staff, Martes is expected to open the season in the rotation at Triple-A Fresno.
|10/5/2017 vs Boston|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2015||AFX-Quad Cities River Ba||3||2||1.04||10||8||1||1||2||52.0||33||11||6||1||2||13||45|
|2015||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||1||0||4.91||3||3||0||0||0||14.2||19||8||8||2||0||7||16|
|2016||AA-Corpus Christi Hooks||9||6||3.30||25||22||0||0||0||125.1||104||53||46||4||4||47||131|