J.D. Martin gets another chance
J.D. Martin flew into San Diego last night on his trip back to the major leagues. Martin made 15 starts last season for the Nationals but couldn't make the starting rotation in spring training. On Saturday, Martin will face the San Diego Padres after spending the first portion of the year in Class AAA Syracuse.
"Pretty excited," Martin said. "I've been working all year to get back up here. It's nice to get back up."
Last year, Martin became a steady starter for the Nationals down the stretch, going 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA. "Being up here last year is going to help," he said. "It's not going to be as nerve-wracking."
In order to get his second chance, Martin had to contend with an injury. He developed two bulging disks in his back, he said, and underwent an MRI exam. He missed two starts, but after taking medication Martin has not experienced any issues with his back for the past week. "It's not a factor," Martin said.
Despite the setback, Martin has earned his way back to the majors. In six starts in Syracuse, Martin is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA. "Just throwing strikes," Martin said. "That's my main thing. Hitting my spots. Really just let them hit it - mis-hit it, I should say."
Last week, Manager Jim Riggleman thought back to Martin's time in spring training and wondered if the Nationals had given him enough of an opportunity to make the rotation. Martin made several starts on minor league fields, and the final decision came to down Garrett Mock or Scott Olsen, Martin having been assigned to the minors. For his part, Martin had no issue with his spring schedule.
"They gave me some opportunities," Martin said. "They've seen me pitch. I don't know. I try not to even think about that stuff. I just go out there and pitch."
Martin may have his chance to make an impression now. With Scott Olsen's recovery delayed by continued weakness in his shoulder, Martin may be able to solidify himself for more than simply a spot start or two. For him, tomorrow's start is more important than where he's spent most of his season.
"I'm here now," Martin said. "I'm all right with it."
May 28, 2010; 6:53 PM ET
Categories: Pitching rotation , Scott Olsen
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