The last time Carlos Martinez pitched for the Marlins in August 2007 it turned out to be one of the worst two-game stretches of his career. In two games, he pitched 2 2/3 innings, gave up three home runs and got sent back to the minors before he could blink with a 13.50 ERA.
Two seasons later, he's getting his shot at redemption. The Marlins called up the 6-3, 200-pound hard-throwing, right-handed Dominican reliever Wednesday night from Triple A and there's a good chance he'll see his first action this afternoon against the Braves. Martinez, 26, believes this call-up will be different.
“The last time I was here I didn’t feel great because I had just had my operation,” said Martinez, who was coming off Tommy John surgery in 2007. “I felt like I had the confidence, but my pitches didn’t show it. I feel better this time. I’m ready.”
The Marlins, who have lost 11 of 15, are hoping for any kind of boost. Before his elbow troubles in 2007, Martinez looked good as a 23-year old with 96-mile per hour heat. In his midseason call-up in 2006, he pitched 12 games, 10 1/3 innings and compiled a 1.74 ERA with 11 Ks and six BBs. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Martinez could pitch as many as two innings an outing. Martinez was 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 12 games in New Orleans (Triple A) this season.
“He almost made the club in spring training. It was really close,’’ Gonzalez said. “He’s been pretty decently out in Triple A. I figure let’s give him a chance to come out and see what he has.”
With it looking more and more likely Scott Proctor could be done for the season with his own arm troubles, the Marlins could use a guy like Martinez to provide some relief to the pen.
The Marlins' bullpen rank fourths in baseball in innings pitched with 96 1/3. Calero leads the majors in appearances (16) and lefty specialist Renyel Pinto is right behind him with 15 apperances. Leo Nunez and Dan Meyer each have 13 appearances. The Marlins pen also leads the majors in wins (9) and is tied for the league lead in strikeouts (89).
> THURSDAY'S LINEUP: 1. Bonifacio 3B, 2 Maybin CF, 3. Ramirez SS, 4. Cantu 1B, 5. Hermida LF, 6. Uggla 2B, 7. Ross RF, 8. Paulino C, 9. Sanchez P.