The White Sox announced on Tuesday that they have selected the right-hander’s contract david martin of Triple-A Charlotte and transferred to the left Garrett Hook to the 60-day injured list in order to open up a spot on the 40-man list. The move involving Hook was a formality after the southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year. Martin will start Game 2 of today’s doubleheader, according to the Sox. Chicago also placed the right-hander Michael Kopech on the paternity list and called right-handed Kyle Crick as the 27th man for today’s twin bill.
It will be the Major League debut for Martin, 25, who was the ChiSox’s 14th-round pick in 2018. He entered the season ranked 22nd among FanGraphs Chicago farmhands and couldn’t hurt to his stock with a solid showing so far. Maritn opened the season at Double-A Birmingham, where he notched a 3.38 ERA with a whopping 32.4% strikeout rate against a 6.9% net walk rate. His strikeout rate fell to 18.6% in a smaller sample of two Triple-A starts, but Martin also walked just 4.7% of his Triple-A opponents while throwing at an ERA of 1.50 there. Overall, he sports a combined 2.50 ERA and 41-9 K-to-BB ratio over 36 frames between the top two minor league tiers.
After seeing the fruits of their latest rebuild (e.g. Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez) move up to the Majors (not to mention names like Dane Dunning and Nick Madrigal, who were traded for veterans ), the Sox have a notoriously thin farm system. That doesn’t mean he’s entirely devoid of depth, though, and Martin certainly has the makings of a potentially useful spin-off or return option. Given that the South Siders currently have Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito on the injured list, having some optional rotational depth is of added importance.
That said, Giolito is expected to return from the Covid-related injured list possibly as early as tomorrow. Athletic’s James Fegan tweet that he is expected to start Wednesday’s game, pushing the rest of the rotation back a day. Lynn, meanwhile, is expected to pitch to batters on Friday as he works after knee surgery.
Even with Giolito and perhaps Lynn not too far on the horizon, there should be plenty of opportunities for Martin if he impresses in today’s start and continues to impress down the line in the upper minors. . The Sox are likely going to be judicious with Michael Kopech’s workload, and Dallas Keuchel and Vince Velasquez have struggled mightily through the first six weeks of the season. Johnny Cueto was brilliant on the White Sox’s debut yesterday, giving the team a much-needed boost after selecting his contract from Triple-A – he signed a minor league contract in early April – but other injuries and absences will surely open additional doors for Martin and others on the farm to make an impact.