PN Interview: RHP Ethan Martin – Phillies Nation

PN Interview: RHP Ethan Martin

Ethan Martin, the 23-year-old righty hurler that was acquired along with Josh Lindblom and a player to be named later just prior to the non-waiver trading deadline from the Los Angeles Dodgers, is adapting quickly to his new home, Reading, PA. In three starts since joining the Phillies organization, Martin has posted a 3-0 record with a 2.08 ERA while striking out 13 and walking five in 17 1/3 innings.

Originally selected by Los Angeles in the 1st round (15th overall) in the 2008 amateur draft out of Stephens County High School in Georgia, Martin had not posted great numbers as a pro prior to this season. In his first three years in the minors, Martin sported a 24-29 record with a 5.42 ERA. However, this year, with Double-A Chattanooga, Martin tallied an 8-6 record with a 3.56 ERA en route to becoming a Southern League All-Star.

Prior to the 2012 season, Martin, who stands 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs around 195 pounds, was rated as the Dodgers’ number 17 prospect by Baseball America.

Recently, I spoke with Ethan about being involved in a trade for MLB All-Star Shane Victorino, his own pitch repertoire, Phillies fans and plenty more. For the full Q&A, read ahead or check out the media player below to hear that interview.

Jay Floyd: You joined the Phillies here recently, in the deadline deal for Shane Victorino. I wanted to get your thoughts on that move and what your excitement level was like to be joining the Phillies organization.

Ethan Martin: It was pretty- kind of crazy, you know. I got the phone call early in the morning and from there it was just a hectic day on that day, the Monday or Tuesday or whatever it was. But having a team that wants me like they did and being in that trade it makes me feel good, deep down. So, just coming over here to an organization like the Phillies are and with all the pitching they have, and with all the different things they’ve done in the past by winning and everything, you know, it’s pretty exciting. Good to be a part of that.

JF: I talk to a lot of guys and, whether it’s trade rumors or actual trades, they’ll describe the disappointment with leaving an organization they may have been drafted by or came up with, that disappointment goes away when they realize there’s a team that wants them so badly that a team would trade away an established guy, like an All-Star. So, that’s a fully legitimate feeling and fully verified by you?

EM: Oh, yeah. I mean, of course I didn’t want to leave- the Dodgers drafted me and that’s all I really knew, but that wasn’t the big part, you know. The Dodgers…would I love to play for them? Yeah, but I whoever I can make it up to play for, you know. The hardest part of it was leaving some of the guys I spent the last four years with. But, now, coming over here and just meeting these guys, same thing. You meet new friends and get acquainted with new guys and I’m starting to love it now.

JF: And you mentioned time spent in the Dodgers organization and you had a couple rough years and then this year you come back in the Southern League, establishing yourself as an All-Star…was it a big relief to really start to establish yourself as a really good performer there?

EM: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Years prior to this year have kind of been up and down, a little rough for me. And being able to go out, day in and day out, that was a big relief for me.

JF: Through your career, you’ve always posted big strike out numbers, with a 9.3 K/9 mark. What’s your pitch repertoire like and what do you consider your out pitch?

EM: I just consider slider or curve ball as my out pitch. I’ll throw a fast ball and try to get ahead with that, there’s pretty good life on it, so, you know, using that and then the slider and curve ball.

JF: Where’s the velocity for you and what’s the drop-off when you throw the off-speed stuff?

EM: Fastball can range from 92 to 97 and I’ve hit 99 before, but I usually sit between 92 and 94. Then the slider’s like 84 to 86. And the curve ball’s like 78, so…

JF: So we get the full evaluation of the pitch menu there. Other than that, though, what are some things you might cite if you were asked to scout yourself?

EM: My command. I’ve got to get that better. The walks are still there. They’re coming down a lot, but they’re still there, so I’ve gotta get control of that. I think once I get that, I should be a lot better off.

JF: Fresh after joining the Phillies organization you get to go home there to Reading for a home stand and, obviously, it’s the local environment. You get a lot of Phillies fans there. You come out to Trenton and it’s a short trip away and there are still a lot of Phillies fans. Just talk about that and maybe being greeted in a different fashion than other teams you’ve played for or other leagues you’ve played in where there aren’t local big league fans like there are near Philadelphia.

EM: Yeah, especially with Chattanooga. Double-A was in Chattanooga, TN, there’s no Dodgers fans there. You might have one here or there, but coming here and just the way the town is in Reading, just they way everybody is- just all about it…it’s pretty fun and makes it better to play in too.

JF: Overall, joining the new team, in the thick of the hunt for a playoff spot, how crucial is it, what’s the energy like and is this really important to the team right now?

EM: Yeah, absolutely. We all want to go out there and win a championship, so just coming here and joining them, when they’re in the hunt, it’s been exciting.

JF: You earned a win in your Phillies organization debut and doing a solid job since joining the team. Just your thoughts on your efforts thus far wearing Phillies red…?

EM: I just try to go out there and do the same thing as I would do with any uniform on, just making my pitches and just give the team a chance to win.

(For the previous few questions, R-Phils third baseman Cody Asche had been playfully mocking me and offering his bat as a microphone for Ethan to speak toward as he answered questions)

JF: And we’ve got Cody Asche here, riding copilot for the interview, fake microphoning it, with a bat. What are your thoughts on Cody Asche thus far?

EM: (Laughter) Everybody’s been great. Everybody’s been able to accept me and I just really appreciate that.

JF: Sounds good. Before becoming a professional, who were some players you looked up to, growing up?

EM: Being from Georgia, you know, I looked up to Smoltz and Maddux and all them. But my favorite player ever was David Justice. Just watching him play every year, especially when they were pretty fun to watch back in the 90’s.

JF: Absolutely. And you clearly grew up as an Atlanta fan. Joining a division rival organization, is the family torn?

EM: No, I mean, my family’s been supportive playing with whoever. But, I’ve had some friends say it’s gonna be hard to pull for the Phillies, being in the same division as the Braves, but they’re all just giving me a hard time. Everybody back home’s real supportive. It’s part of it. They understand and they’re right there with me.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site,

Click to comment



    August 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Ethan Martin seems like a nice kid looking for an opportunity. Let’s hope his command improves with his three pitches and gets that opportunity. He may want to develop a change-up while in Reading. Good stuff, Jay.

  2. teejvee

    August 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Forgive me if I can’t work up a molecule of enthusiasm for this deal while Utely, Brown ,Rollins, and Howard continue to work diligently at lowering the ERA of every pitcher the Phils face. The organization’s in complete shambles,

  3. Morris Buttermaker

    August 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    What do you mean shambles? Some prospect in Clearwater is throwing a no-hitter. Look at the big picture!

  4. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    No game day post – I believe this site is probably headed towards the sunset
    In the meantime is this guy Gallardo is a strike out pitcher. I was not sure how he managed to mow down 4 Phils in 2 innings.

  5. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    That should have been a very good inning.

  6. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Its about time for a Vance melt –

  7. Morris Buttermaker

    August 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Dom Brown just left a crap stain in the outfield.

  8. John

    August 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Seriously, is D Brown a slow adult? If I am correct, he had a football scholarship to play WR at FSU…could you imagine this guy trying to run a fly pattern. Probably would have tripped over his own 2 feet!

  9. Double Trouble Del

    August 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Not one single untouchable player on this team.

    • Double Trouble Del

      August 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      In fact really who would want any of these guys except in some kind of back up role. I’ve tried to keep a balanced approach to this season but Amaro has left this team in an irreparable state. They are YEARS away from being competitive again. This team reminds me of the Mo Vaughan Bobby Bonilla Mets teams-overpaid and overrated.

  10. arc

    August 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    you couldnt play baseball this bad on purpose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. arc

    August 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    The Phillies should get ready for 2013??? are philadelphia fans retarded, or is life just that bad that we believe in the hopeless??? Its overrrrr!!! get it through your thick head!!! this team will be sold away piece by piece next year. Theres no way to repair this team, that moron Amaro reglected this offense for 4 years and bought every pitcher he could. Did he think hitting was no longer required in baseball???

  12. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Yes arc, this offense really does stink and the pitching smells pretty bad to top it all. Another 1 2 3 to the mighty Brewers. Hey, they are giving us revenge on the sweep in Philly.. right

  13. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Its FROD and we have owned this clown in the past.
    But who has confidence in this offense?

  14. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Switched to Livan who has more junk than Jamie ever had

  15. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Yeah Ryan, keep to that right side, get the Brewers off guard buddy

  16. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Gee, I was just expecting more from Dom Brown

  17. Brooks

    August 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Phitin Phils are living up to their name eh? 4 hits

  18. Cs

    August 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    You guys are so bandwagon when the team wins, and totally negitive on nights they lose.

  19. Brooks

    August 18, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Just fans Cs, for years just fans who are frustrated as hell with this season. How long have you been on the bus?

  20. Lefty

    August 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Rollins needs to just shut up, seriously this dude needs a PR advisor or something. So I’m reading that after meeting with Manuel, he was quoted as saying this on why he does not run hard on every play-

    “You’ll end up breaking down, just the wear and tear on your body,” Rollins said. “Why do people do a lot of things? It’s just the way it is. It’s like, if you’re a pitcher, why don’t you throw every ball at 95 mph? Sometimes it’s not going to happen.”

    Is he kidding? He’s really going to compare running down a baseline four freakin’ times a game to throwing 100 pitches? A simple 90 foot sprint four times? He’s obviously never pitched.

    • ARc

      August 18, 2012 at 10:45 am

      you’ve obviously never sprinted!!!!

  21. Morris Buttermaker

    August 18, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Rollins has a PR guy. His name is Tom McCarthy. Last night’s broadcast was a disgrace. It started off with Rollins hugging a little kid in the crowd. And then his second at-bat just happened to be a story about Rollins helping the Ugandan Little League World Series team. I guess they knew to get those stories in early because most fans would turn the game off by the 5th inning.

    It was like Rollins was running for office. Well, at least that would mean he is running.

    • Lefty

      August 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

      I stand corrected, he definitely already has one!

  22. Brooks

    August 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

    His answer in the following game was almost a slap in the face. He stole 2 bases once he got on as if “this is what I can do Cholly” and then pretty much nothing after. What does that mean? He gives Cholly, us, Philadelphia the effort when he is motivated? What more motivation does someone need?

    If Jimmy would play, play hard and just shut up

    • Ryne Duren

      August 18, 2012 at 9:25 am

      brooks they have to try to trade him in the offseason! i don’t care what his frangraph adversaries say! the so so stats he puts up to achieve his 3.1 war or whatever doesn’t take into count the fact that he is a bad example to the rest of the team. mainly the younger guys that will be filtering up the next few years. what was it that gillick said about abreu? addition by subtraction. if this team wants to get better they have to shed the negative influence of guys like j-bag. and they have to replace the manager! it’s the only way to change. i’ve read that charlie doesn’t hit, pitch, blah blah. no he doesn’t ! but if he’s lost the clubhouse which i think he has because of the way they play. then he has to go! his game skills were never good to begin with, and without the clubhouse it makes him weaker, and without a power laden lineup his weaknesses aren’t covered up. this team doesn’t need a retooling it needs to be rebuilt! i’m a man i’ve been a fan a long time. i can take a rebuild. shed the high priced salaries for whatever young players you can get. lower the salaries and you don’t have to say retool to keep the fan base coming in. you know as well as i brooks we will always support them win or lose. if they’re willing to spend (as they are) a rebuild won’t take long. years past it took forever cause they were cheap. we can hang with them, just do it! they’ll get more respect from us fans if they had the cahones to be upfront and not sugarcoat anything.

      • Ryne Duren

        August 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

        i don’t know if anybody saw it, but greg murphy did a bit on the tweets from rollins response to the guy who told rollins that young kids are watching. he played it down, and so did sam donnelon on phila .com. in an article. donnelon defended rollins cause he said the guy was a “heckler”. give me a break! rollins is just a spoiled overpaid wise ass. that’s how it should be reported.

  23. TheDipsy

    August 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

    So much for Phillies Nation. No game day site, Thats unacceptable. PN guys – YOU MUST ALWAYS BE THERE.

    RE: Dom Brown. He has shown a lot of progress at the plate. I like his attitude. But that play in the outfield last nite was one a child could have made. I could have caught that ball and I’m not kidding. It was disgusting. It looked like he was a little squirrelly about the wall. If he is gonna field that poorly, he better hit.

    RE: JRoll. Just please shut the f#ck up.

    The Dipsy

  24. Brooks

    August 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Ryne, I don’t disagree that Jimmy needs to go. But my memory is not that short either. He has done and given plenty for this city to cheer about but his attitude and talent have started to go south. Much like Vic where he seemed to be almost defiant and beligerant when questioned about his fading skill sets, its time to move on.

    That being said, I am pretty sure rebuilding or retooling as you stated will not be a quick process. They have now straddled themselves with possibly one of the weakest offense minded outfields of all the contenders. If (like some people are advocating) Juan Pierre is traded, they will definitely have no offensive production from any outfield position and an outfield with a cummulative BA of under .240.

    Not to mention that the Phils have hung themselves with these long term contract with aging pitching and position players. I’m sure somethings can be worked out but it will take a while.

    • Ryne Duren

      August 18, 2012 at 10:58 am

      yea brooks i agree. i won’t take anything away from him for what he’s done. but as dipsey said he should shut the —– up. and we agree he should go. as far as the rebuild goes. hey i’m all in man! that’s the fun part of baseball. i do woodworking making furniture and stuff. and part of the fun of doing it is building it from scratch and watching the progress till it’s complete and a finish is put on. sometimes it takes a while depending on the size and scope. but when it’s done there’s no better feeling of accomplishment! sorta like building a winning team! and we’ve been through it as fans before. it’ll be fun to start the process all over till we get another WS. BTW i’m almost done a 6ft wide bookcase 8 ft tall to match a friends kitchen cabinets. it’s about 80% done! i just need some pitching to get me over the hump! good day buddy

  25. Ken Bland

    August 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Tonight’s lineup @ MIL: Rollins SS, Frandsen 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Brown LF, Nix RF, Mayberry CF, Kratz C, and warming up in the bullpen, enroute to breaking Orel Hershiser’s coveted shutdown inning string, number 35, Cole Dot Hamels.

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