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Red Sox Relievers’ Dominant Season in the Bullpen

Chris Martin has been rock solid in the Red Sox Bullpen. What has made him so successful? The tall, right-handed setup man has been a bright spot for the Boston Red Sox as he now has a 1.17 era in 46.1 innings pitched. This article will show how he has been successful and got these statistics.

Chris Martin’s Dominant Season in the Bullpen

Strike Throwing

One of the main reasons Martin has been so successful is his ability to throw all his pitches for strikes. His command is a +107, in the 100th percentile for pitchers in the Major Leagues. This command has led him not to give up free bases and puts the batter in a tough spot because he is always pitching ahead in the count. His ability to command all his pitches is a trait that every pitcher looks for in the MLB, especially the ones who don’t throw as hard.

His pitch mix is interesting as he throws three different versions of fastballs: a four-seam, a cutter, and a sinker. He also occasionally mixes in a splitter, sweeper, and slider. The two pitches he relies on mostly are the four-seam and cutter. None of these pitches have a high swing-and-miss rate, but they don’t get battered either. He mostly commands his cutter to the glove side, away from a righty and into a lefty. His four-seam is mainly used up in the zone, as he likes to go right after hitters with it.

Hot Stretch

This command of his pitches has caused Martin to only give up one run in his last 26.2 innings pitched. This is very impressive as it is tough to be a reliever and be this consistent every outing the manager decides to give you the ball. This consistency has made Martin the most trusted option out of the pen, and he has pitched the 8th inning a lot in front of closer Kenley Jansen. He can be relied upon in challenging situations because of his ability to command the strike zone and not give up a lot of hard contact.

His splits left vs. right are pretty even, so you can trust him against either type of hitter, so you don’t have to play the matchup game with him. Overall, lefties are more successful against him with a slash line of .240/.288/.387. Both home runs he has given up have been against left-handed pitching. Against right-handed hitters, he has a more impressive slash line of .213/.235/.223. The combination of his four-seam up in the zone and cutter away from right-handed hitters makes it challenging for them to hit and barrel up.

Overall, the signing of Martin has been wildly successful. He signed a two-year deal with Boston and figures to be in their plans going into 2024. He will continue to have success if he misses barrels and commands all of his pitches. The concern for Martin is durability. He will be 38 by the middle of next season, and the Red Sox must avoid using him too much. They have done an excellent job limiting his appearances on back-to-back days this year.


Main Photo Credits: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports



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