Ethan Martin’s Injury Hurts the Philadelphia Phillies’ Already Shallow Pitching Depth

Ethan Martin

. Image Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when the Phillies signed Roberto Hernandez because they claimed they needed more depth in the rotation? Apparently there was something to that.

After injuries to Roy Halladay, John Lannan, and Jonathan Pettibone forced the Phillies to start the likes of Tyler Cloyd and Zach Miner down the stretch in 2013, one of general manager Ruben Amaro‘s offseason goals was to acquire more depth for the rotation. The team received some mockery when they signed Hernandez; partially because he used to be known by a different name, and partially because he hasn’t been especially good the past few seasons.

The move is looking good right now. Unfortunately, that isn’t because Hernandez has looked good in camp – He got roughed up in first spring start on Wednesday. The move looks good because the Phillies’ rotation depth seems to be getting thinner by the day.

First came the news that Cole Hamels was behind schedule. Then, it became obvious that Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez wasn’t quite as major league ready as we were led to believe last summer. After that, Jonathan Pettibone revealed that the injury problems of 2013 might not be completely behind him.

Yesterday brought even more bad news as Ethan Martin – one of the ineffectual starters the Phillies ran out last season – was having injury issues of his own. While most people agree that Martin shouldn’t even be used as a starter, it seemed like he might have to start the season in that role due to the other injuries. As it turns out, Martin might not be starting the season in any role except rehab.

When pitching in yesterday’s exhibition game, Martin’s shoulder began bothering him, and he couldn’t manage to throw faster than 85 MPH. He was removed from the game leading to today’s cheery news:

The Phillies had better pack Cliff Lee in shipping peanuts, because we’re about one false step away from Roberto Hernandez being the team’s Opening Day starter. Phillies fans might want to pay attention when the likes of Jeff Manship and David Buchanan make appearances this spring, because chances are that we’ll be seeing them in a Phillies uniform at some point this summer.