The Cardinals have decided to utilize righty Carlos Martinez as a reliever down the stretch, as Peter Baugh of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was among those to report. Martinez has been sidelined with a shoulder strain.
Unsurprisingly, the move is expected only to be temporary. The idea seems to be that it would simply take too long to get Martinez back up to speed as a starter. By bumping him into the relief unit, he can perhaps make an impact down the stretch for the Cards before preparing to stretch back out next spring.
Martinez will first need to get back on the hill — and stay there. He has compiled 100 1/3 innings of 3.41 ERA pitching thus far this year, but has also dealt with a series of arm and back injuries that are fairly concerning in the aggregate. His average four-seam fastball is down a full tick from 2017, with his more-frequently utilized sinker falling 2.3 mph.
Surely, the Cardinals will exercise care in handling Martinez. The increasingly worrisome health situation takes place against the backdrop of a significant investment. Martinez remains under team control through 2023 under the extension he signed back in February of 2017, with a guaranteed $34.5MM due over the next three seasons before successive options priced at $17MM and $18MM (each of which come with $500K buyouts).
That’s not to say there isn’t also an interest in getting Martinez back in action as soon as possible. He hasn’t pitched in a relief capacity since he was still establishing himself in the majors, but clearly a pitcher of his abilities could make for a notable addition to the St. Louis bullpen. The Cards are still 2.5 games out of postseason position, but have played quite well of late and entered action today eight games over .500.
Back in bullpen where he started his career
I remember the days when every starter started in the pen. Usually called up and spent most if not all the season there before starting the next season.
You 85 years old?
Lol, more like over 25.
This made me lol..Just wasn’t expecting it, and ended up giving me a good chuckle..
I was born in 1988, so I’m only 30, but I still recall quite a few organizations, especially contending teams, utilizing rookies primarily in the pen when they first debut.
Typically, this was done around September call-ups, and these teams would use these younger pitchers to help boost their bullpen, and to get the rookies acclimated to pitching in the big leagues. They would also use these younger pitchers to help keep the rookies’ innings down, to help keep the team’s bullpen arms fresh, and they’d also occasionally use these rookies as long men for day-night double-headers or mop-up duty..
It really isn’t all that much different from how several teams use their talented rookie pitchers today. Although, today, you do see a lot more rookies starting the year on a staff, or shortly there after, solely to delay their clocks..
Personally, I love the idea of using rookies first out of the pen, especially around August and then around time for September call-ups..
For contending teams, especially having a talented LHP added to your bullpen is a huge boost during a post-season run.
Plus, these pitchers have already most likely set career highs for innings in AA-AAA, so by letting them move to the bullpen it makes it where you don’t have to add on a significant workload to a young arm..
Agreed. Gives them great experience and they learn from vets who’ve been in the show for a while.
I was born in 92 .. almost everyone comes up through the pen these days. I’m not sure what that guys talking about. Aaron sanchez , Robbie Ray , Kevin Gausman are recent enough examples
If you think it was that long ago you must be 12.
I’m not talking September call ups. Pitchers use to spend their rookie season in the pen. Huge difference than September call ups.
Wainwright, Lynn, Wacha, Martinez, Reyes, there are more previous Cardinals that began as a reliever prior to these players. There are more Cardinal pitchers who have began as relief pitchers, started, then finished their careers as a reliever.
That’s how the Cardinals do it
The dominance of David Price in his rookie year helped the Rays hugely in the playoffs that year. He would be a good reason why I advocate for it.
I hope that Carlos Martinez comes back and has a tremendous end to the 2018! Then, I hope the Cardinals can cash in big time trading this winter for a true Current all-star type big bat player over the winter. Carlos has got head problems. May do him and the Cardinals well to have a change in scenery while he’s still in his prime.
You 15 years old???
IF the cards make it to the one Gabe wildcard, I’d love to see them go with an all bullpen game. Carlos for about 2-3 innings, Dakota Hudson for 2-3, hicks for one or two and Norris to close it. Seems like a good approach to the game, saves from burning a starter before NLCS. No idea if Shildt would have guts to try something like that or not
Not a bad idea…would eliminate the punishment and kinda the purpose of the one game playoff…I would use more of the bullpen..of course save a couple guys
Wow what a scary idea! A great idea, but scary. They’ve legitimately got a shutdown bullpen when they’re clicking. Would take some sack to pencil that in but whoa! I like it
That idea is huge.
Well this is better than what i read in the comments on mlb.com about shutting him down for the rest of the year and have him pitch again next year. This certainly does help the bullpen.
All hands on-deck now that the Cards are charging for a playoff spot.
What a win! I could see Carlos becoming the closer and letting him air it out…Norris needs a break I think….almost blew it tonight but the young guns came in to shut it down…I still like Norris but he hasn’t looked that good of late
No almost about it, he did blow the save. Hudson saves his sorry butt.
Well to be fair I said he almost “blew it”…it being the game…so he almost blew the game…I’m nit picking though
whatever is best for ballclub
Why bother coming back at all? The Cards are done.
– Everyone here, last week.
Well, not everyone.
The Brewer fans
STL will be ahead of them in 2 weeks
you notice all the trolls from the Brewers and cubs are eerily quiet on cardinals post now lol it wasn’t to long ago when everyone was saying how St. Louis wouldn’t be relevant for years and they should give up….where are you brewcrew08…if cardinals fans want a laugh go look at the comments on mlbtradrumors when they picked up tyson Ross
Its about as funny as reading Cardinals fan’s comments. Youll get the bends going from the extreme highs to the extreme lows.
lol geez…hey buddy…im pretty sure all fans are like that…better than anything you post lol
wasn’t an ace in the rotation. won’t be a stopper in the pen.
Yeah, you need to be an Ace in the rotation, before you can be a stopper in the pen (unless you’re named A.Chapman, W. Davis, Z. Britton, A.Miller, S. Greene, or B. Norris).
never said he had to be an ace
He throws as many balls as he does strikes, seems like.
I should probably not say this but I kinda think the Cards are gonna squeak to the top of the division while the Cubs and Brewers figure out who has the worst pitching
You’re right, you shouldn’t say that because its not going to happen.
Weirder things have happened
we will see how close the cards can get…last three games against the cubs
Do you have a crystal ball to determine that will not happen? Cause it’s absolutely not impossible
Honestly not a bad move. He has closer type stuff, is absolutely electric for a few innings and is absolute garbage for a few others. I hope they utilize him as an Archie Bradley.
Cardinals are going to beat the brewers out for the wildcard spot because they have amazing pitching every year
Just sit the guy for the year. No need to risk anything. Yeah I get it, maybe we can win the wild card. But the chance of us winning it all is slim to none.
how would you know? “maybe we can win the WC but the chance of winners by it all is slim to none”??? I don’t expect a WS victory in ‘18 but if they win the WC game … I like our chances of making it. I’m not scared of any of these NL teams … Houston and Boston look tough though. The last WS STL won they were the WC and the one before that hey won a very weak division and the WC that year had a better record. Your reasoning for sitting Martinez for the rest of ‘18 seems silly