Spring numbers are spring numbers, but…the spring numbers say right-hander Cody Martin has been the Mariners’ best pitcher. Five scoreless appearances covering 9 2/3 innings. Just four hits, two walks and 13 strikeouts.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed.
"That’s why we value him and what he brings," manager Scott Servais said. "The ability to throw strikes all of the time and move it around."
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Cody Martin has virtually no chance to break camp with the big-league club. He knows this better than anyone. He knew this coming into camp. He knew this when the Mariners designated him for assignment in January to clear roster space.
Understand the Mariners spent much of the winter bolstering their organizational pitching depth, and that Martin was the most-reliable starter last year at Triple-A Tacoma and was summoned on four occasions for big-league duty.
"Last year was really good," he said, "and I had a great time. Then I got DFA’d, cleared (waivers) and outrighted (back to Tacoma). It is what it is. It’s a business. Things happen."
Martin insisted he isn’t upset or bitter or even exasperated.
"That doesn’t mean I won’t be back up this year," he said. "I’m not going to look at it as a bad thing. I’m happy to be here. I’m kind of glad that I didn’t get shipped off somewhere because I’ve made some good relationships here.
"I was really excited to come into spring with what we have. I think I can earn my way back to the big leagues just as easy as anybody else."
Martin, 27, wasn’t always so sanguine.
A seventh-round pick by the Braves in 2011, he once raged at the injustice of seeing pitchers promoted simply because they threw harder or were high draft picks essentially on scholarship because of the organization's investment.
"Early on in my career in the minor leagues," Martin admitted, "I was getting mad about that. It was like, `Man, I’m putting up better numbers than this guy, and he’s getting promoted.’ I got stuck in that mind-set for a while.
"Then doing some work with our mental-skills coach in A-ball and Double-A, he kept saying, `Control what you can control. Don’t worry about them. Be happy for them.’ That really helped me grow as a person.
"This is my journey. I just need to worry about my path."
A relapse occurred in 2015 when he was traded from Atlanta to Oakland for international bonus-slot money. He was in the big leagues at the time with the Braves, but the Athletics sent him to Triple-A Nashville.
"It was like, `Oh, they traded for me," Martin recalled, "`I should be in the big leagues. Why am I in Triple-A?’ It got into my head. I wasn’t worrying about what I was doing in the moment, and I suffered by having some really bad games.
"Then I didn’t get called up until halfway through September. So if you start worrying about other stuff, you’re not going to take care of what you need to take care of. Then you don’t get that opportunity."
Martin had a 5.10 ERA in 11 starts at Nashville and, when finally promoted by Oakland, gave up nine runs over six innings in three late-season appearances.
It was a disaster and, to Martin’s thinking, one that was mostly self-inflicted. The Athletics designated him for assignment shortly after the season, and the Mariners acquired him in an Oct. 19 waiver claim.
"You learn from that stuff," Martin said. "Everybody learns. Everybody has to go through something. So I’m not going to worry about it (this spring) if I make the team or if there’s even a way to make the team or if I’m going to get called up.
"I’ve just got to take care of what I’m doing now and hope for the best."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners