Right-handed reliever Rafael Martin is looking to get off on the right foot in his first big league camp as he will get a chance to pitch in Friday's exhibition against Georgetown University.
Double-A Harrisburg Senators pitching coach Paul Menhart has coached the San Fernando, Calif., native for quite some time now in the system and could tell the 27-year-old reliever was desperate to make a good impression this first week.
"He was a little anxious (on the first day)," Menhart said. "But his stuff is quite special. He has a natural cut to his fastball and the hitters were pretty vocal about not being able to pick it up. He is trying to get a feel for his slider, which will definitely come. Some of the anxiousness got to him, but then he settled down. He did fine, he really did. He showed the stuff and why he was invited to camp."
Martin's stock has risen after a tremendous 2011 in the system, going 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 38 games with 13 saves, between Single-A Potomac and Harrisburg, allowing only one home run in 43 2/3 innings. In 10 games in the Arizona Fall League, Martin went 0-1 with a sparkling 1.50 ERA in 12 innings of work.
Manager Davey Johnson said Martin is one of four pitchers expected to go about two innings against the Hoyas Friday. We will update his outing after the game.