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

PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ben Brown talks TJ recovery, O'Hoppe, cancelled season

Image- MiLB.com Out of action since last May when it was determined he required Tommy John surgery, righty pitching prospect Ben Brown is using the downtime of the pandemic hiatus to continue his physical recovery.  A 33rd round draft selection of the Phillies back in 2017, Brown made his professional debut that same year, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 10 appearances in the rookie level Gulf Coast League.  The following season, Brown began to make a name for himself in the GCL, striking out 16 batters in one July appearance.  He would post a 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 10 games (eight starts) before earning a promotion and finishing the season with a pair of outings with Class A short-season Williamsport. Brown, a Long Island, NY native, opened last year with Class A Lakewood.  In four appearances with the BlueClaws, he struck out 20, walked four and allowed no runs in 13 2/3 innings and looked well on his way to making an impact on betting odds and available promo codes

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

Kendrick & LaGrossa- Second Phils/Survivor Marriage

On Saturday, Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick married 3-time Survivor contestant and former Flyers employee Stephenie LaGrossa. The couple exchanged vows in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California. Their special day featured many personalized aspects, including cocktail hour snacks modeled in the fashion of mini Philly cheesesteaks, as well as the couple's two dogs, Bebe and Champ, serving as flower girl and ring bearer during the ceremony. The pets wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively. Kendrick is now the second Phillies pitcher to marry a former contestant of the CBS reality competition program, as lefty Cole Hamels wedded Heidi Strobel, who appeared on the sixth season of Survivor, in 2007. _________________________________________________________________ Be sure to follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter, for updates, stats and info, by clicking HERE . Photos- People.com