Indians pickup Martinez from Angels
August 6, 2012
Today the Indians announced that they have claimed minor league right-handed pitcher Fabio Martinez from the Los Angeles Angels. With the move the 40-man roster is now at 39 players.
Martinez, 22, has spent his entire six-year minor league career in the minors, and this season was with the Angels advanced Single-A affiliate Inland Empire of the California League. In eight starts with the Inland Empire he was 0-5 with a 10.72 ERA, and in 22.2 innings allowed 26 hits, 32 walks and had 23 strikeouts.
The Indians claiming of Martinez is them making a reach on a player that once had a high ceiling and still may be able to reach it. Martinez was once one of the Angels' top prospects, but a shoulder issue at the end of the 2011 season that ended up carrying over into the 2011 season (he pitched in just two games) cost him a lot of time and development. He has struggled with his command ever since, and also missed the first half of this season due to injury as well.
Martinez features a three pitch mix of a fastball, slider and changeup. The fastball is his best offering as it sits 92-95 MPH and has been up to 98 MPH, but he has trouble commanding it and it lacks much movement. His slider is a plus offering that gets a lot of movement, almost too much, and again, is a pitch he lacks consistency with and has a hard time commanding. He also throws a below average changeup that is in his arsenal as a pitch to attack left-handed hitters and to allow him to continue to start. While the power is intriguing, his struggles with repeating his delivery and lack of a good third pitch are expected to move him to the bullpen down the road so he can go with his very good fastball-slider combination.
In a lot of ways, Martinez is much like current Indians right-handed pitcher Danny Salazar. That is, a hard throwing righty that has struggled with injuries the last few seasons but was deemed too valuable to be lost in last year's Rule 5 Draft, so was rostered. It remains to be seen if the Indians will continue to start Martinez, but he will go to High-A Carolina and probably will slide into the starting rotation there.
Like Salazar, Martinez is in the first of three option years this season. The Indians hold two more options for him beyond this season.
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...of course, the front office seems to enjoy loading the top end of the system with "fill," which is fine, but not when that "fill" spends long-term chunks blocking the younger guys.
Developing players is excruciatingly long though...and for good reason many times...
I agree at this point that the front office needs an upheaval, and the ownership as well...and not to give it an influx of cash, although that would be an added bonus.
What this organization needs is an ownership group that gives the front office urgency. Right now, there is none...
Chances of this happening- about the same as the Indians winning the world series.