May 17: Martinez is likely to be activated before tomorrow’s game, per MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch.
May 12: Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez, who has yet to appear in an MLB game this season, could rejoin the Cardinals as early as this weekend, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Martinez has been dealing with shoulder issues for the last couple of months, holding him out of action for the first quarter of the season. He recently began rehabbing in the minor leagues, making one appearance at Class-A and three more at the Triple-A level, all out of the bullpen. It would be a welcome sight for the Cardinals to add Martinez, who has an impressive history both as a starter and a reliever, to the existing bullpen mix. He offers a high-leverage option, as well as a potential multi-inning threat to bridge the gap to closer Jordan Hicks.
Goold notes that Martinez is scheduled to pitch for Memphis on Sunday and Springfield, the Cards’ Double-A affiliate, on Wednesday, at which point the Cardinals will evaluate whether he is able to join the Major League team for its weekend series in Arlington against the Rangers. If the team is indeed comfortable adding Martinez to the roster, he will slot into a bullpen role, bolstering a unit that has enjoyed stellar performances from Hicks, John Gant, and John Brebbia. On the other hand, the club could decide that Martinez needs more rehab time and revisit the issue at a later date.
Of course, Martinez returning would require a corresponding roster move. In that case, Luke Gregerson is perhaps the most obvious candidate to be replaced, though Dominic Leone could also be fit for a demotion, with his ERA ballooning to an unsightly 8.20 after an impressive start to the season. Gregerson, who is owed $5MM this season, has made just three appearances for the Cardinals in 2019, but has allowed 3 runs in those games and doesn’t have a history of success with the Cardinals; the veteran righty posted a 7.11 ERA last season, his first in St. Louis.