J.D. Martin earned his first win Sunday as the Nationals topped the Diamondbacks 9-2.
The young starter’s only mistake on the night was a leadoff homer given up to Trent Oeltjen in the first. Following that Martin settled down to pitch five strong innings allowing only five hits and that one earned run. He also earned his celebratory pie in the face.
Martin has had a long journey to earning his first win which saw him bounce around the minors since being drafted in the supplemental round by Cleveland in 2001. After eight years in obscurity the former prospect has finally clinched his first “W,” at the age of 26.
For Martin once his high school arm developed, he needed to have it surgically reconstructed. In 2005 Martin underwent Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss a year.
By the time he had gotten back the Indians had given up on him. At the age of 25 he combined between double and triple A by going 12-3 with a 2.41 ERA and 79 strikeouts to 21 walks, yet he couldn’t get a shot in the big leagues with the Tribe.
Back from Injury Martin was a different kind of pitcher. He had become a 26-year-old Jamie Moyer, living on the black at 88 MPH. His best assets are his control and his change-up. These skill sets tend to worry Major League General Managers because so few are successful pitching that way, especially young guys. The only way to find out if finesse pitchers like that have what it takes at the Big League level is to give them the opportunity.
Well J.D Martin, here it is.