White Sox starter Davis Martin shows 'big-league cool' on mound

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How Davis Martin learned to be 'big-league cool' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Davis Martin continues to impress the White Sox. Tony La Russa admitted he’s given the rookie some tough assignments in his three major-league outings, like going as deep as he could against the Rays, or pitching in high-leverage situations. But La Russa has seen that Martin is up to the challenge.

“He’s got big-league cool,” La Russa said before Friday’s series opener against the Rays.

It’s a term La Russa used to describe how Martin never lets the moment overcome him on the mound. He kept his cool after a rough outing against the Rays to rebound for success against the Rangers. When he surrendered solo home runs on Friday, he shook it off and continued to attack the zone. And he did it all in the middle of a tightly contested game.

“Nothing really phases him,” said Yasmani Grandal. “So that’s always a good sign. The fact that he wasn’t really phased by both of the homers, where a lot of times younger guys tend to get a little tight, he just kept on going and kept on attacking. The fact he was able to do that is a great sign to see.”

Martin’s five-inning, two-run performance from the third inning through the seventh was exactly what the White Sox needed on Friday. It not only gave many other relievers a blow on a scheduled bullpen day, but it also allowed the team to hang in the game until their offense erupted in the eighth inning.

As La Russa and Grandal said, it was a gutsy outing for a young pitcher. According to Martin, it’s a reflection of the attitude he’s picked up from talking to his big-league teammates.

“We have some all-stars in this room, guys that possibly could be Hall of Famers, and pick their brains about it,” Martin said. “Cease, Kopech and I have a lot of conversations, as well. So picking their brains and see how they approach the game and mimic it as well.

“More I’ve played with older guys who have been around, learning on the fly. They’re successful for a reason, and that’s a big part of it.”

With Lance Lynn set to return to the rotation on Tuesday, the White Sox may not need another outing like this from Martin for awhile. But the team will certainly be happy knowing he could be waiting in the wings to eat innings when needed.

“He's shown what he showed now a couple of times,” said La Russa. “He's become a good pitcher.”

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