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Carlos Martinez looking healthy, throwing a new, hard slider?

Carlos Martinez had some question marks with his shoulder, but he looks healthy this spring.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Martinez entered 2016 with some question marks because of how his 2015 season ended. A shoulder problem in a late September start caused some seriously diminished fastball velocity, and Martinez was shut down for the playoffs. Shoulder injuries for pitchers can be scary, and it wasn't clear how he'd look this spring.

After watching him pitch in a spring outing last Thursday, though, I think it's safe to say he's feeling pretty healthy. Martinez topped out at 99 mph with his fastball and routinely clocked 96-97. He struck out 5 batters in 2.2 IP, and also appeared to be throwing a new, hard slider. PitchFx lists Martinez's breaking ball as a curve, and has it averaging about 85 mph, with a max speed of 89 mph. In the start against the Tigers last Thursday, Martinez threw a 92 mph breaking ball with some sharp gloveside bite.

He threw the pitch to RHB Nick Castellanos, and started the pitch on the outside part of the plate so that it broke off the plate.

This appears to be a new pitch, giving Martinez potentially a new weapon to play with.

Martinez's biggest problem before last year was getting LHB production under control. He significantly improved his results against lefties last year, cutting their production down from an .849 OPS in 2014 to a .756 OPS in 2015, on the back of a developing change up, which he threw 15% of the time last year, up from just 3% in 2014.

I don't know if Martinez will make this hard breaking ball a staple in his repertoire this year, but if he does, it'll give him a third offspeed pitch to use against hitters, and might help him continue to blossom into one of the National League's better starting pitchers.