KANSAS CITY — Jharel Cotton’s reaction was equal parts appreciation and amazement when he saw the tweet from Pedro Martinez, where the Hall of Famer said Cotton reminded him of himself.
After Cotton threw seven scoreless innings against the Royals on Monday, Martinez — an MLB Network analyst — took to social media and tweeted: “Jharel Cotton reminds me a lot of myself. Nasty change up, nice cutter, same arm angle and rotation, and same grip I used to have.”
Jharel Cotton reminds me a lot of myself. Nasty change up, nice cutter, same arm angle and rotation, and same grip I used to have.— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 11, 2017
Cotton was born the same day I made my debut, 1992, wears #45, and sadly was traded by the Dodgers...oh well! Good signs indeed!!— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) April 11, 2017
That was something for Cotton to hear, given that the A’s rookie right-hander says he used to watch Martinez pitch a lot on TV while growing up in the Virgin Islands.
“Growing up, he was like the first guy I watched,” Cotton said. “When I played video games, I’d always pitch with him. It’s pretty cool for him to say that about me.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin kidded with Cotton about the comparison Wednesday afternoon, but said:
“Who am I to argue that? You look at the pitch complement, and there are a lot of similarities there. It’s one heck of a compliment.”
However, the fact that Cotton wears No. 45 — the same number as Martinez wore for most of his career — is completely coincidental.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know that until he said it yesterday,” Cotton said. “And I was like, ‘Wow!’ I wear his number.’”