Corbin Martin was optioned to AAA Round Rock today (6-4-19) following his fifth start with the Astros. His record was 1-1, but his ERA was 5.59, his FIP 8.42, with a 1.81 WHIP. His biggest problems with the big team were his elevated BB% at 13.0%, and his elevated HR/9 at 3.72
Martin started with promise, holding the Texas Rangers to two runs in 5.1 innings, with a K% of 45% in his first major league start.
But deducting that first start, the struggles of Martin look even more stark: a 6.43 ERA, 10.57 FIP, 15.3% BB%, and a whopping WHIP of 2.21.
“It was time for a change,” said manager A.J. Hinch. “We needed to decompress a little bit and let him go work on a few things.”
Framber Valdez is slotted to take Martin’s place in the starting rotation on Saturday. Working out of the bullpen, Valdez is 2-2, with a 3.12 ERA. Valdez has also had problems with command in his young career, walking 11.7% of hitters in 2019, but with a 55.3% ground ball rate, he has a remarkable ability to induce GIDP’s.
Conversely to how Martin started strongly but has faltered of late, Valdez had a shaky start to his season but has been dominant lately. From April 4th until May 7th, Valdez had a 4.91 ERA. But since then his ERA has been 0.79, although his xFIP of 4.76 and BB/9 of 5.56 during this time remain as troubling harbingers of his success as a starter.
Reymin Guduan has returned to the majors for his second stint this year to replace Martin. In 15.2 innings at Round rock Guduan is 1-1 with 2 saves, 16 strikeouts, a 2.87 ERA, but a more pedestrian 4.93 xFIP.