Last season, Nick Martinez was a pitcher who's pitched just five games above the Class-A level and was not a heralded prospect in the Rangers' organization.
He wasn't a known name by fans like guys such as Joey Gallo and Chi Chi Gonzalez are, and all the sudden, he was named to the Rangers' Opening Day rotation just before the season began due to Yu Darvish starting the year on the DL with neck stiffness.
You know the rest of the story. Martinez struggled, had his ups and downs, bounced back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen and back and forth from the bigs to the minors and finished the season with an unsightly 5-12 record and 4.55 ERA with 29 appearances and 24 starts.
Now, everyone knows who he is, and he had a great spring. And now, Darvish is out for the season after Tommy John surgery, which forced the Rangers to slide everyone in the rotation up a spot and open up a competition for the No. 5 starter's job.
On Sunday, new manager Jeff Banister made it official that Martinez had won that spot.
Martinez went 2-0 this spring with a 0.84 ERA and worked 10 2/3 innings in three appearances. Now, he enters the upcoming season on a much different note than last season, and the Rangers hope he can hold on to his spot for a long time and be a solid contributor.