Pedro Martinez to Debut with the Phillies on Wednesday

August 11, 2009 by  
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In case you’ve been living in a box, or already switched gears to football season, the long-awaited debut of Pedro Martinez in a Philadelphia Phillies (it feels weird to type that up!) uniform will be made tomorrow against the Chicago Cubs, at Wrigley Field.  The Professor already discussed the usability of Martinez, so I won’t go into that too much.

In three rehab starts for the Phillies, Martinez allowed seven ER in 12.1 IP.  He fanned 16 and allowed nine hits, pitching in all three levels of the Phillies’ minor league system.  In his final start for double-A Reading, Martinez threw six innings, allowed three ER on five H, and struckout 11.

The key for Martinez will be utilizing his offspeed pitches down in the zone.  He no longer throws with the same velocity he once had, and he won’t be able to get away with overpowering hitters anymore. 

If he wants to make an impact this year, pinpoint location of his pitches and consistent arm action on offspeed offerings are key.

In 2007-08 season, Martinez allowed a .338 AVG against his fastball.  Thus, keeping that changeup and curveball down is key; when it was above waist high opponents batted .368 and slugged .773. 

When his offspeed stuff was down in the zone, opponents hit just .225 and slugged .300.  If he’s able to keep his hitters off balance, he could be worth a try in fantasy leagues.

Martinez is smart enough to get by without dominating stuff, I don’t doubt that.  It’ll be fun to see the transformation of his pitching style.  Throughout his career he’s been thought of as a power pitcher, but now at 37-years-old he won’t be throwing in mid-90s any longer. 

Pitching well against minor leaguers, who are in their upper teens or low twenties is one thing, but translating some of this minor league success against major leaguers is another beast to tame.  I wouldn’t count on him to be that great this year, but there’s always the off chance he is. 

He has the ability to rack up wins with the Phillies, but give him a few starts to see whether or not his other numbers are serviceable enough.

The fallout from this promotion is Jamie Moyer heading to the bullpen, which has absolutely no fantasy relevance.  Having made 606 career starts in the major leagues, is this almost the end of the line for the 46-year-old Moyer?  Will he now become an elite lefty out of the pen? 

I seriously doubt that, but it will be interesting to see what the Phillies do with him, as he has one more year left on his contract.  He had a 5.47 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP this season, so it’s about time the Phillies canned him from the rotation.

What do you guys think of this move?  Will Martinez find some of that old magic and be usable down the stretch?

Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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