Mar 6, 2015; Jupiter, FL, USA; A detail shot of the scoreboard with the pitchers count during a spring training baseball game between the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Week one of spring training is in the books, and there is much to talk about. Carlos Martinez, donning number 18, looked like a man who was all business. He was perfect in his start last Wednesday, going for 2 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, and 3Ks, controlling the Marlins with ease. I believe that he could be the best 5th starter in the league this year, especially with Yadier Molina’s tutelage. Of course, I’m basing this off two innings in the first spring game of the year, but the feel is different to me. Next up is Marco Gonzalez, another man competing for that 5th man spot. He went 2Ip, 1 hit, 1 walk, and no Ks. He also looked very poised for his age but, I think he would be better suited in a relief role this year. He thrived last year in the spot and could use some more experience and the chance to build up his arm. Finally the 3rd notable arm vying for the last spot in the rotation, Jaime Garcia. His fortunes did not go as well in his start. 1.1 IP, 3 hits, 1ER, 1Walk, and 1 k. Now Garcia is a very well seasoned vet and none of this is any reason to raise a red flag. At this point I feel the job is mostly a battle between Martinez and Garcia. Ultimately I rank them Carlos, Marco, And Jaime and it boils down Martinez is just simply ready, physically and mentally. Gonzalez is young but is going to be a stud with some more experience. He’ll get that with a full season in the bullpen barring any injury. Garcia? i just feel his time is done as a starter. The often injured pitcher would just hinder progress of the young guns. That being said I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the last starter to start season because Mike Matheny loves his vets and it would spare Martinez or Gonzalez a heavy season work load.
More from Redbird Rants
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- What’s next for the St. Louis Cardinals after Contreras signing?
- Report: Cardinals Emerge As Mystery Team for Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Trade targets after signing Willson Contreras
- Reflecting on the 2013 Cardinals’ top 30 prospects
Some new faces stepped into the batters box this week as well. Jason Heyward looked comfortable batting in both the 2nd and 3rd spots finishing 3-7, 1 R, and 1 RBI. Mark Reynolds’ start in a new land was little rougher going 0-5. Naturally this is nothing to worry about, since he was just brought on as a bench guy and to add some power. Two young hitters also made some noise this week. One, who may be more familiar to the casual Cardinal’s fan. Randal Grichuk provided some boom smashing a home run the other day against the Marlins. Tommy Pham is the other kid who probably was the most talked about last week. Going 4-4 against Houston (first since Oscar Taveras) and is a total of 5-8 overall.
The bummers of the week were of course Adam Wainwright‘s abdominal injury, in which he received the best possible news and should be good to go for opening day against Jon Lester and the Cubs. Lance Lynn was the injury which had us holding our breath. At first it looked like he injured something on this throwing hand. Once an official diagnosis was released we found out it was a hip flexor strain. He was quoted yesterday saying that he would not miss his next start, which is also another sigh of relief. Lynn has been one of the most underrated pitchers in the league the last few years.
Overall the hitting looked much more aggressive, active, and successful. To me, this is extremely exciting as opposed to last year the hitting seemed more relaxed and looking for walks. They finished the week with a record of 3-1, and will be taking on Boston today. Hopefully as the season draws closer the team begins to look more complete.