Will Carlos Martinez make the St. Louis Cardinals rotation?


St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez hopes to make the pitching rotation in his second full season with the Major League club.

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Martinez’ main rival for the bid to win the fifth and final rotation spot is the left-handed Marco Gonzales. His bid to do so will come this spring with having his locker next to All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, the perennial Gold Glove Award recipient. The locker move was the idea of the All-Star catcher, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"“I thought it was a great idea,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Yadi is excited to have Carlos near him. Carlos is going to be the recipient of baseball talk.”"

Martinez sounds excited for the move, too.

"“I’m going to have help from him, and it’s important I feel more comfortable around him now,” Martinez said through a team official who assisted as translator. “It’s huge. I know I’m going to get a lot of advice.”"

After being hailed as the next coming of Pedro Martinez when he was promoted during the 2013 season, his Minor League numbers just haven’t been able to translate at the Major League level. Martinez now realizes just how important it will be for him to control not only his emotions but his command of the strike zone, too.

During winter ball dyring the offseason, Martinez not only built some muscle but also worked on “his control and efficiency” in pitching. According to Goold, Martinez “wants to be ready to carry the weight of a starter.”

"“We’re toying with the expected workload,” Matheny said. “But first things first. He’s got to come in and win a job. He won’t have anything given to him.”"

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told reporters that there will be a discussion about the innings load, with how Martinez prepares for the 2015 season and what they will do to protect his arm. He’s young but hasn’t pitched the innings that a starter usually would in a few seasons now. During the 2014 season, Martinez started only nine games as a starter, appearing in 59 games and pitching just one-third of an inning shy of a full 100 innings.