On Monday morning Davis Martin was preparing for his Tuesday start against the Norfolk Tides in Charlottle when he got a call. The next night he was standing on the mound at Kauffman Stadium for the second game of the Chicago White Sox doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.
After receiving a call informing him that he was in fact getting called up to the big leagues, Martin figured he would be an insurance arm out of the bullpen. Soon after he was told he would be making his first major league start. The 25-year-old then had to scramble to find tickets for friends and family to watch him pitch.
“An hour later, it’s like, ‘Hey, you’ve got Game 2.’ So it all kind of hit pretty quick,” Martin told the media. “But I was ready to go. I was slated for Tuesday against Norfolk. So I just kept the same routine and rolled into it.”
Many fans did not know who Martin was before Monday night. If you search the White Sox’s top 30 prospects, his name is not amongst them. He didn’t even get invited to Major League camp.
Martin was selected in the 14th round of the 2018 MLB draft. But the righty had quietly been tearing it up in the White Sox farm system this year. He owned a 4-1 record with a 2.50 ERA over five starts in Double-A Birmingham before getting promoted to Charlotte.
He had only gotten two Triple-A starts under his belt before getting the call. Martin made sure he did not let the opportunity go to waste. At 9:00 am he took a walk around the field to take in the stadium and enjoy the moment so he could focus on the task that night.
His excellent stuff was on display from the get-go. It only took him two batters to record his first career strikeout, after he got Andrew Benintendi to chase a changeup. His fastball topped out at 96.8 mph. He struck out seven batters and generated 16 swings and misses. Nine of those were via the slider.
Davis Martin's first major league K 👏 pic.twitter.com/SjikYJrlnX
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 17, 2022
Martin had to work around some traffic on the base paths, allowing five hits a walk, and a hit batter. But he was able to limit the damage to just one run.
In the fifth inning with a runner on first and second and one out, he struck out Bobby Whitt Jr. with a sharp slider low that dropped out of the strike zone. He then got Carlos Santan to ground out to escape the jam.
At the end of his debut, he threw 91 pitches. His final line was five innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts. The White Sox could not have asked for much more from the rookie. He pitched well enough to earn the win.
But the offense let him down and instead he was tagged with a loss. The White Sox could only scratch across one run against a Royals pitching staff that ranks 26th in the MLB in ERA.
“Tough for him to be the losing pitcher, it really bothers all of us. He didn’t deserve to be the loser,” Tony La Russa told the media. “He did so many good things. He has a right to feel good and look at his big league future sooner rather than later.”
Davis Martin may be heading back down to Charlotte a loser but if Tuesday was any indication he has a bright future in the major leagues ahead of him.