In a move that might be a glimpse into the future of the Phillies bullpen plans for 2014 (and hopefully not of their starting rotation) the team announced today that Tyler Cloyd will be moved to Ethan martin's spot in the rotation effective immediately.
Martin started seven games for the team this season, going 2-4 with a 1.8 whip and a 6.90 ERA. While those numbers are fairly dreadful, he also managed to put up a whopping 10.2 K/9. That of course was paired with a 6.3 BB/9 which was whopping on a whole different level.
That said, a closer glimpse at Martins numbers tells a pretty interesting tale. In those seven starts, 27 of those strike outs to just 6 walks came in his first three innings of work, leading many to believe that the power pitcher, who regularly hits the mid nineties with his fastball has a more promising future in the bullpen.
Martin has also thrown 145 innings this year between the minors and majors, so there could be some limiting going on here as well, but its more than obvious that the team wants to take a look at him in the bullpen as this disappointing season turns to a close.
Cloyd started seven games for the big club over the course of the season, compiling a decent 3.57 ERA, to go along with a 1.500 whip, 4.2 BB/9 and 5.6 BB/9.
Many people, including pitching coach Rich Dubee, feel that a move to the bullpen will actually see Martin's velocity spike some, and if he can continue the pattern of being a high strike out, low walk pitcher one time through the lineup or less, it would be a tremendous asset to the 2014 club. Whether he can make that transition, control and command wise, remains to be seen, but Martin himself has said he tends to hit a wall around 60 pitches. The rub with Martin has always been the walks, as he's never had a full season with fewer than 4.5 BB/9.
Here's hoping that changes. If it does, Ethan Martin could be a devastating back end pitcher.