Skip to main content

Reading RHP Ethan Martin dealing with loss of velocity

Ethan M.
Ethan Martin, image- Jay Floyd
TRENTON, NJ- Phillies minor league pitcher Ethan Martin has dealt with shoulder issues in recent seasons that have kept him sidelined at times, but lack of firm details on the ailment have left the hurler's future full of mystery and doubt.

Once a promising righty pitching prospect that came in return from Los Angeles in the 2012 Shane Victorino trade, Martin was armed with a mid-90's fastball (clocked as high as 97 MPH) as well as strong off-speed pitches. Lately, he struggles to produce a fastball that gets above 90 MPH, which leaves minimal variance with velocity compared to his secondary offerings.

Over the past two seasons, Martin, who was the 15th overall draft selection by the Dodgers in 2008, appeared in 17 games with the big league Phillies, tallying a 2-5 record with a 5.93 ERA, but with the dip in velocity, he hasn't been able to climb back to the upper levels and produce.

"I've dealt with failure in my career. I've dealt with adversity. You know, this is just, you look at it and you're like, 'What's going on? I had it two years ago!' Especially last year. I came into spring training and it disappears. So, it's frustrating," Martin said, expressing his bewilderment while sitting in the visitor's dugout at Trenton's Arm & Hammer Park this week.

Following another stint on the disabled list, this time for a minor ankle sprain, Martin was activated by the Double-A Reading Fightins on Thursday. The 26-year-old said that the Phillies organization has done the necessary research to uncover the core of the issue without success.

"I've had MRI's and everything like that and nobody can- there's not structural damage in it, so I mean it's just one of those freak things and nobody knows what's going on, in a way," Martin said.


With Reading this season, Martin sports a 1-0 record with a 5.33 ERA while having struck out 10 and walked six in 25 1/3 innings.

When he's been placed on the shelf in previous instances, the Phillies have declared it's due to shoulder inflammation. However, the pitcher himself asserts there's been a complete absence of discomfort.

"No pain at all," Martin shared with a puzzled expression. "(My old velocity) just doesn't come out. I try to throw as hard as I can and it just doesn't want to come out. It's weird."

The six-foot-two 225-pounder has worked with Phillies mental coach Dr. Jack Curtis on dealing with the psychological side of the game, but without the ability to fire it up on the radar gun, Martin's ceiling doesn't appear to be what it once was, as indicated by Reading manager Dusty Wathan's recent comment that Martin is "just one of the guys in the bullpen".

Finding a silver lining in the changes he's faced with, the Georgia native feels he's been able to improve himself as a pitcher.

"Through this I've learned to pitch a little more and I've learned to mix up my pitches, keep the hitter off balance, where before I'd throw 94, 95, 96, sometimes 97 and I'd rely on that too much and my other pitches weren't as refined as they should be. Through this, I think it's kind of helped in that aspect, so if (the velocity) ever does come back I feel like I'd be ahead of where I was two years ago," Martin said.

For Martin, his team and those that know and love him, fingers will remain crossed, hoping that the zip does return to his fastball. Until that time, he remains appreciate of all that he still has and can continue to do.

"Right now I just appreciate that I still have a job playing the sport that I love and I just gotta go with that."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frosty Phillies Favorites: 2021 Edition w/ DJ Stewart

Season's greetings to all of you! It's that time of the year to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Every year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holidays.  This year, we focus on just one up and coming player, corner infielder DJ Stewart. The 22-year-old righty batter had a solid season in 2021. In 94 games combined with Class A Clearwater and Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, Stewart notched a .265 batting average with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and five stolen bases.  Recently, I talked with DJ to gain his feedback on all of his holiday favorites. Read ahead for that interview... -What's your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite is This Christmas.  My Mother and I would watch it together every Christmas, so it just stuck with me. -What is your favorite Christmas song and which version is best? This Christmas by Chris Brown.  It's the final song of my favorite Christmas movie. -What's your favorit

Biddle slated to make Reading return on Saturday

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd After a miserable stretch of starts in June, lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle was placed on Double-A Reading's temporary inactive list. On Saturday, he'll make his long awaited return to the FirstEnergy Stadium mound when he starts the first game of the Fightins' scheduled double header against Binghamton. The 22-year-old posted a 0-4 record with a 12.64 ERA in four June starts. It was clear that there was something quite wrong with Biddle, who had missed a start in late May after being pelted with hail and suffering a concussion. A mixture of feelings including confusion and anger were firmly settling in while Biddle's efforts on the mound were not. The Phils saw a need for the Philadelphia native and Germantown Friends School product to take a break. Exams discovered lasting impact on Biddle stemming from the concussion and time off was required. "For me it was an important time not only to take a mental break and to go down

Franco making case for September call up

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd While the minor league season begins to wind down, Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco continues to go full throttle. As the IronPigs kicked off their final home stand of the season on Saturday with a double header against the division rival Syracuse Chiefs, Franco, who is hoping his season continues on beyond the final day on the regular season calendar, which is Labor Day, September 1st, continued to display his improved offensive efforts going 6-for-7 with two home runs combined in two games while recording a cycle in the night cap. The feat was certainly quite an achievement, but possibly more impressive because it was accomplished in just six offensive innings for the winning home club in game 2, as minor league double headers are slated as seven-inning contests. Franco, who turns 22 years old this week, struggled through the early part of his first Triple-A season, ending June with a .202 batting average and just 28 extra-base hits