Reports early on indicate that St. Louis Cardinals starter, Carlos Martinez, is feeling strong after throwing bullpen sessions.
Baseball is finally back. As workouts move to live Spring Training games for the St. Louis Cardinals, there will be plenty of news to write about come March. Yesterday, fans received good news — Carlos Martinez is back on the mound.
Brian Stull of St. Louis Baseball Weekly reported yesterday that Martinez was spotted throwing a bullpen session off the mound and felt strong afterwards. Sure, it’s very early on in Spring Training, and this was only a brief bullpen session for Carlos, but it’s encouraging news nonetheless for the Cardinals.
Fans recall last season that Martinez was shutdown in late September due to a shoulder strain. The injury kept him out of the postseason, and left fans wondering what might have been.
Yesterday, Martinez told Stull that he threw the session at about 80 percent and that his shoulder feels good to go as Spring Training workouts crank up.
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny echoed that statement to Stull:
"“Just stay the course,” stated Mike Matheny of the team’s plan with the medical staff of how to ease Martinez into workouts. “So far, he’s been very compliant…he’s in a good place and going in a good direction.”"
Martinez dazzled at times in his first full season as a starter in 2015. The right-hander finished 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA, a 3.21 FIP and 184 strikeouts in just 179.2 innings pitched. He was good for a 3.4 fWAR as well.
Much like Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday, Martinez will have to prove that he is truly healthy this spring. As the 24-year old continues throwing in the coming weeks, we’ll soon find out if that is the case, especially with games starting as soon as March 2. The Cardinals will need Martinez to put it all together in 2016 if they are going to fend off the Chicago Cubs for a 4th straight National League Central division title.
Keep it locked here at Redbird Rants for more news, analysis and insights on all things Cardinals throughout Spring Training.