4) Red Sox reliever Chris Martin proved his cold spring was a fluke
Pitching statistics in the spring, especially for a reliever, can be incredibly flawed due to the low sample size. Reliever Chris Martin made 7 appearances and tossed 7 innings only to have an ERA of, you guessed it, not quite 7. It was actually 6.43 which is close enough to raise an eyebrow.
Martin got battered around with 12 hits in those 7 innings. Did the Red Sox sign damaged goods?
Martin has had one of the more curious careers. It wasn’t until his age 33 season in 2019 when he became a permanent fixture in the big leagues. He has had incredible stretches like the 1.00 ERA in 18 innings during the shortened 2020 season and periods where he didn’t look so incredible. For example, Martin had a 4.31 ERA in 31.1 innings for the Chicago Cubs last season then finished with a 1.46 ERA performance in 24.2 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers after getting traded.
This season with the Red Sox, Martin has been one of Alex Cora’s most trusted relievers. His 2.08 ERA after 22 appearances has been a godsend. He’s not necessarily doing it by pulling rabbits out of his cap either. A 2.50 FIP and 0.92 WHIP tells us he actually is a nearly sub-2.00 ERA reliever this season.
Relief pitchers tend to run hot and cold to extremes. Right now, Martin is boiling up for the Red Sox. It’s glorious.