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Yankees 2015 Roster Report Card: Chris Martin

The Yankees brought in Chris Martin on a low-risk move, and he cracked the roster out of spring training, but injuries held him down in the minors for much of the season.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: C

2015 Statistics: 24 G, 20.2 IP, 5.66 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 7.84 K/9, 2.61 BB/9 (MLB only)

2016 Contract Status: Free Agent

Back in January, Chris Martin was DFA'd by the Colorado Rockies, and traded to the Yankees for cash considerations. Martin bounced around in both Boston and Colorado's minor league systems before landing in New York in 2015. Martin's contract for 2015 was just over $500,000, so it was a pretty low-risk move by the Yankees. The 29-year-old never made the Red Sox major league roster, and was then shipped to Colorado in a package for Jonathan Herrera. Martin had a long history of injuries, but he was able to crack the 2014 Rockies roster for 16 games. Unfortunately, the injuries followed him to New York.

Martin made the roster out of training camp, joining a bullpen (at the time) with guys like Chase Whitley and Esmil Rogers. Martin appeared in 15 games before sustaining a right elbow injury. In those 15 games before the injury (12.2 innings), Martin did pretty well, posting a 3.55 ERA (2.03 FIP), and even earning his first major league save. Martin was the guy that usually appeared before the core-three (Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve). Opposing hitters could only manage a .231 average off of Martin in this span, and things were looking up before his injury.

On May 8, Martin was placed on the 15-day DL with right elbow tendinitis. Some weeks later, on May 30, Martin was sent to Triple-A Scranton on a rehab assignment. Martin spent four games in Scranton (a 4.50 ERA in that span) before being called back up to the Yankees. Martin spent even less time in the majors, this time only three games, where he really struggled, giving up eight hits and five earned runs while facing only 18 batters. Martin was sent back down on June 19, and that was the last time we would see him in a Yankees uniform for quite some time.

Martin appeared in 16 games from June 23 to September 6, pitching in 24.1 innings. He did fairly well in this stint, with a 2.96 ERA and allowing just eight earned runs. Martin's Triple-A stat-line finished as 28.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 3.02 FIP, and earning two saves. He was called back up on September 11, but didn't appear very much in the remainder of the season, making only six relief appearances. In these six games, Martin had a whopping 5.79 ERA (6.56 FIP), allowing eight hits and three earned runs in only 4.2 innings. It seems that Martin never really recovered from his elbow injury, since he went from a 3.55 ERA to a 9.00 after returning from injury. He also had a problem with home runs, as his HR/9 rate from June 13 to the end of the season was 2.25. To make things a little better, the numbers suggest that Martin was a bit unlucky in this small sample, with a BABIP of .424.

With big jumps from minor league guys Branden Pinder and James Pazos, to name a few, it's hard to imagine Martin, a free agent, returning to the Yankees organization. The Yankees took a chance on a guy who could provide depth in the bullpen, and he showed he was even better than that coming out of spring training. If not for the injury, who knows what could have come of Chris Martin. If Martin can find a way to stay healthy, maybe he can find his way back to the majors. Wherever you end up next year, Chris, I hope that team finds a way to Fix You.