Remember Shairon Martis? He pitched his way into the Nationals' rotation last spring and won five games in the first two months of the season, only to lose some of his aggressiveness on the mound and get sent back to Triple-A Syracuse. He hasn't been heard from since.
I started thinking about Martis when I saw that he'd thrown six shutout innings for Triple-A Syracuse yesterday. For a guy who surged into the Nationals' rotation so quickly last season, he's slipped from view rather quickly.
Martis is 7-6 this season with a 4.18 ERA for Syracuse. He has a 1.465 WHIP, though, and that's been more because of hits (9.6 per nine innings) than walks (3.6 per nine). The knock on Martis last season was that he would nibble around the plate too much, reluctant to come after hitters. That hasn't been as big of a problem at Syracuse, but then, you wouldn't expect it to be against minor league hitters.
So will we see Martis again? I'm not sure. The Nationals have enough of a pitching surplus now that he doesn't seem to be a major part of their plans right now.
With Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, John Lannan, Scott Olsen, Craig Stammen, JD Martin, Jason Marquis, Yunesky Maya and possibly Chien-Ming Wang all ahead of him in the Nationals' pecking order, there's a good chance Martis will be blocked for a long time. He's still only 23, and would seem like a nice trade chip.
My hunch is, if we don't see him in September, it's unlikely that we will anytime soon.