Red Sox relief pitching Joan Martinez
Boston’s relievers in 2021 had a bit of an issue with walks. That was the main problem for Joan Martinez too. Or at least it was for the beginning of the season. As the year went on the command got better and better.
In the first month (6 2/3 innings) he walked seven batters. The next month (8 2/3 innings) he walked another seven batters. Next month Martinez walked just three batters in seven innings. The following month saw him walk just two batters in 10 1/3 innings. Finally, he walked just one batter in 3 2/3 innings in his final month.
Overall, Martinez walked 20 batters in 36 1/3 innings. Overall the numbers don’t look great, but once you see how much he improved over the year it makes such a big difference. The right-handed pitcher struck out 51 batters in that time. He also posted a 2.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and insane .180 BAA. What’s even crazier, Martinez didn’t allow a home run in 2021.
Martinez wasn’t giving up hits. And it’s not just a fluke either, he has a .208 BAA throughout his entire career. The 25-year-old recorded six holds and was a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities as well. This helps to prove that even with the early walk problems, he was a consistently reliable bullpen arm.
All this being said, the walks have been a problem for Martinez his entire career. With that in mind, Boston might want to see that he can keep the walks down like he did at the end of the year before making any big moves.
That being said, Martinez spent the entire 2021 season in Double-A. So it’s not crazy to think he’ll start 2022 in Triple-A. Or at the very least in Double-A with a promotion to Triple-A being expected in the near-future.
Either way, that puts Martinez extremely close to the Majors. And if he does manage to keep those walks down, Boston could come calling for his services pretty quickly. We’ve already seen that he can rack up the strikeouts and is terribly hard to make solid contact off of. All that sounds like a recipe for an elite reliever.
Boston’s bullpen still hasn’t been solved. And the temperature on Joan Martinez feels pretty “hot”.