When Joe Maddon looked at his bullpen depth chart in the eighth inning of yesterday’s blowout against the Pirates, he somehow settled on recently acquired center fielder Leonys Martin.
Martin, who was traded to Chicago on the waiver-wire deadline for cash or a player to be named later, finished the game for the Cubs, facing five batters and surrendering two runs on three hits, one of which was a home run.
It wasn’t a bad appearance for a guy who hadn’t pitched in 12 years, according to MLB.com. He hit 91.5 mph with his four-seamer, and also threw a two-seamer, a changeup, and a curve, and a slider.
Martin said after the game that he could have thrown faster than he did, but was “afraid to hit somebody” and “was trying to throw the ball over the plate,” which is considerate and also extremely relatable to this layperson.
Not a bad call by Maddon, who likely felt he was playing with house money after Jake Arrieta left the game with a concerning-looking injury that turned out to just be hamstring tightness. Under those circumstances, why not let your new dude with a good arm try to throw a curveball in September?