St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez‘ name has been mentioned a lot in the last 26 hours or so. A lot of it has to do with the Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi report that the Cardinals are interested signing Max Scherzer or exploring a trade for either Price or Cole Hamels. Is it possible that the pitcher will be playing for another team come Opening Night?
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On the very first day of 2015, I asked if Detroit Tigers pitcher David Price could be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2015 season. I didn’t foresee the Fox Sports report coming this week.
Of course, this is the Hot Stove season. Anything can and will happen. When the Cardinals sent Shelby Miller to the Atlanta Braves in November, the message being sent was that they were satisfied with the health of Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha.
We’ve known for some time now that John Mozeliak was looking for another starting pitcher. Is it because he’s not completely sold on Martinez? This is the big question. It’s something that Bernie Miklasz addressed on Thursday.
"The talented Martinez has yet to prove himself as a big-league starter, and he’ll have to show that he’s capable of supplying innings. I’m an enthusiastic Martinez fan, but the Cardinals can’t afford to have him going out there every fifth day running up high pitch counts and lasting only four or five innings. That puts too much of a load on the bullpen."
I’m finding myself in agreement with Bernie when it comes to Carlos. In 2013, he was heavily hyped as the younger version of now-Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez but it hasn’t truly shown in the Major Leagues quite yet. Martinez posted a 4.03 ERA during the 2014 season as both a starter and reliever. He started seven games for the Cardinals, posting a 2-1 record with a 4.45 ERA. He allowed 17 runs (16 earned) on 37 hits in 32.1 innings pitched. He allowed two home runs while walking 16 and striking out 34 batters. In these seven starts, Martinez pitched five or more innings three times. This is why there are those like Bernie and myself who are not sold yet on Martinez as a reliable starter.
Jeff Gordon is of the belief that the Cardinals should trust their rotation and not make a move for any available pitcher. Is that the right thing to do? I don’t know.
Fox Sports Midwest’s Stan McNeal writes that the Cardinals don’t need to make a trade or sign a starting pitcher but adds that “any of the trio of big-money guys would be a better bet to help the Cardinals win a World Series.” On Martinez improving, McNeals writes that “we will see a far different Martinez in 2015, a young man who has grown up following the death of Taveras.”