The Giants on Tuesday announced the hiring of J.P. Martinez as their new assistant pitching coach. Martinez replaces Ethan Katz, who was hired away by the White Sox to serve as Tony La Russa’s pitching coach.
Martinez, 38, has spent the past six years working in the Twins' organization, most recently as the club’s assistant pitching coordinator. This past season, his duties included overseeing pitching operations at the Twins’ alternate training site in St. Paul, Minn.
A ninth-round Draft pick by Minnesota in 2004, Martinez pitched five seasons in the Minors, climbing as high as Triple-A before his playing career ended in the Orioles' organization in 2008.
The Louisiana native coached at the high school level and for the Northwoods League’s St. Cloud Rox before returning to the professional baseball ranks in 2014, when he joined the Twins' organization as a pitching coach and rehab coordinator. Martinez also spent the 2015 campaign as the pitching coach for the club’s Class A affiliate, the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Gabe Kapler has gravitated toward hiring coaches with player-development backgrounds since taking over as the Giants’ manager last offseason, and Martinez’s enlistment suggests a continuation of that theme. Martinez is poised to join the Giants’ well-regarded pitching group, which already includes pitching coach Andrew Bailey and director of pitching Brian Bannister.