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At one point, according to Wrigley Field's radar, he reeled off pitches that came in between 91 and 93 over five of six pitches. With a dawdling slurve in the low 70s, a change that broke in under the knuckles of left-handed hitters in the high 70s, and a slider in the mid 80s, he has enough registers to keep hitters swinging early at slow pitches and late at faster ones, the key to his success for him now.
Speed is just one aspect of pitching, though, and the one that Martinez has yet to show he controls is the ability to put the ball where he needs it. "I didn't feel quite as confident about my command," he said after mentioning how pleased he was with his velocity, and for good reason: Bringing the ball in from his new, slightly lower arm angle, he was visibly wild whenever getting much above the mid 80s.
It's early, of course. But I'm reminded that there's a hidden downside of signing a guy like Pedro Martinez or John Smoltz. Both were supposedly signed as sort of insurance policies, but eventually both were given jobs not because they were desperately needed, but instead because they were Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz.
You saw how well that worked out for the Red Sox.