These young Red Sox arms will benefit from working with Pedro Martinez in spring training
Spring training is months away, but Boston Red Sox fans can already expect to see something exciting when pitchers and catchers finally report in February.
Pedro Martinez, who’s been with the organization as a special assistant since 2013, will be in Fort Myers working with the organization’s pitchers.
Pedro Martinez will mentor Brayan Bello, Josh Winckowski, other young pitchers at Red Sox spring training
Boston saw several promising pitchers debut in 2022, most notably, Brayan Bello, Josh Winckowski, and Zack Kelly. Kutter Crawford and Kaleb Ort debuted in 2021, but have spent minimal time on the mound, with Ort still retaining rookie status. All of them – heck, any pitcher – can benefit from Martinez’s expertise. After all, he’s a Hall of Famer, World Series champion, three-time Cy Young, and Triple crown pitcher. But speaking to Sports Illustrated recently, Martinez explained that he’s planning on devoting his energy to the organization’s younger arms, because they likely need his “old goat” expertise more than the “established” pitchers:
"“…guys like (Brayan) Bello and the rest of the staff, some of the young guys that we brought up, will probably need a lot of help. I don’t know how willing the older pitchers that we have in the rotation are to exchange their knowledge with the young players. But I will be like that link in between the veterans and the young starting pitchers or aspiring starting pitchers to get them close, to get them to understand, to work together to learn from all of us together.I’m the old goat. The rest of the guys are established guys that will probably help the young nucleus that we have. And I’m hoping to just be a link between the two sides and hopefully build a structure that they can all learn and feed off each other.”"
Martinez already knows what Winckowski needs to work on and plans to help:
"“He needs a lot more pitch movement, he needs to create bigger gaps between some of the pitches.Hopefully we’ll be able to work and pinpoint those areas and find ways to improve on those with the talent he has.”"
And considering Martinez is Bello’s idol, and the pitcher he’s said he most wants to be like, or even surpass, it will be exciting to see how they work together and how Bello comes out of that experience.
Martinez pitched in the majors for 18 seasons, including seven with the Sox. But they weren’t his first or last team; he began his career with the Dodgers, then pitched for the Expos (RIP) before coming to Boston. After the 2004 World Series, he signed with the Mets and then finished out his career with the Phillies.
Boston has always been his true home, though, and he remains deeply committed to the Sox. Last month, he issued a public warning to the front office about the devastating damage losing Xander Bogaerts would do to the clubhouse culture that he, David Ortiz, and other key members of The Idiots cultivated years ago.
Hopefully, the Sox heed his warning. Lucky for them, he’ll be at spring training trying to instill that culture in the next generation.