With oblique injuries often leading to weeks-long absences, this figures to end the season for Martinez, who has logged all five of his 2020 appearances out of the Cardinals’ rotation after working from their bullpen a year ago.
While Martinez was a high-end starter earlier in his career, opposing offenses have smashed the 29-year-old for a 9.90 ERA/6.88 FIP in 20 innings this season. Martinez has easily posted career-worst strikeout and walk rates along the way, having logged 7.65 K/9 and 4.65 BB/9, respectively. And Martinez has averaged under 93 mph on his fastball – far below the 95-96 mean he has typically recorded.
The Cardinals, who are 27-26, do have their next five starters lined up, with Kwang Hyun Kim, Jack Flaherty, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Adam Wainwright and Austin Gomber scheduled to take the mound in their upcoming matchups. Regardless of how their season ends, though, the Cardinals will owe Martinez $11.5MM in 2021. That would have looked like a bargain price not long ago, but that’s not the case with the way he has performed this year.