Martin Gets Back To Mound
Ethan Martin had to wait longer than expected to make his professional debut. The Dodgers' first-round pick signed in early July and reported to the Dodgers' Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate. His first scheduled start was rained out, and then the Georgia high school product injured his knee in a pitchers fielding drill, sidelining the righthander for the remainder of the regular season.
Martin, BA's High School Player of the Year, returned to action on Sept. 27 with two scoreless innings against the Padres' instructional league squad. Working mainly with his 94 mph fastball, Martin showed excellent command by throwing 20 of 29 fastballs for strikes. He also mixed in a few changeups, but mostly was working on spotting his fastball.
"I felt really good," said Martin after his first start. "I was just trying to get back on the mound. I went out and did my job and it just felt good to be out there."
Dodgers pitching coach George Culver liked what he saw in Martin's debut.
"The thing I was impressed by the most today was he wasn't nervous," said Culver. "He went out there totally in control of himself and threw a lot of strikes . . . He's obviously got a long way to go, but what we saw today was very, very exciting."
Martin's time on the sidelines while healing from his knee surgery wasn't a total waste. He spent the time, "just watching the games . . . just studying hitters and the way they stand in the box . . . just watching other pitchers to see what I can learn off of that."
Culver also believes that there are plenty of lessons to be learned by a young professional like Martin even if they're not on the field.
"The first year is mostly about learning how to be a pro, how to be on time, how to put your uniform on, how to act," said Culver. "He's a very professional guy . . . we're very impressed with him."