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.
Martes accrued an ERA of 5.91 across 53.1 innings in 2017 with the Astros.
The young right-hander saw his first big league action this season, although it's obvious he's still a work in progress. After starting four games, Martes was moved to the bullpen, where he struggled down the stretch -- over his last 22 innings pitched, he gave up 21 runs and allowed 17 walks. Surprisingly, Martes earned a K/9 of 11.31, indicating that he has the talent needed to succeed, he just needs more experience. It's very unlikely that the 21-year-old will see any key innings during the playoffs.
Martes (3-1) allowed three runs on two hits, a hit batsman and a wild pitch over two-thirds of an inning in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers.
Martes had appeared to find himself in the bullpen, having struck out 10 and walked two over four scoreless and hit-less appearances. The silver lining is that he didn't walk anyone, but he missed location on several pitches and spoiled an encouraging start by Collin McHugh. Martes' spot on the active roster could be in jeopardy over the next 24-to-48 hours. If the Astros get busy before the trade deadline, it's likely they'll add a pitcher. Whether that be a high-end starter like Sonny Gray or a left-handed reliever, the team will need to clear a roster spot and Martes' is the most logical.
Martes (3-0) allowed one walk while striking out two over 2.1 scoreless relief innings to pick up the win in Houston's 8-4 victory over Baltimore.
Martes has settled into a long-relief role, having struck out nine and walked two over 6.1 hitless and scoreless relief frames, spanning three appearances. The control problems that bedeviled him as a starter haven't been there when Martes pitches as a reliever. Despite the positive impact out of the pen, his stay with Houston may be coming to an end when Dallas Keuchel (neck) is ready to be activated off the disabled list, which could happen as soon as Friday.
Martes struck out two over 1.2 scoreless innings of relief in Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Twins.
Martes is one of the organization's top starting prospects, who has been moved to the bullpen after making four starts for the Astros. Saturday's bullpen effort was the best of his four relief appearances, being the first scoreless one. With both Collin McHugh (elbow) and Dallas Keuchel (neck) making rehabilitation starts this week and nearing their returns to Houston's staff, Martes will likely head back to Triple-A Fresno, where he can resume his routine as a starter.
|10/5/2017 vs Boston|
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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|