St. Louis Cardinals: Which Starting Pitcher Is Most Important?

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 10: Starter Carlos Martinez
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 10: Starter Carlos Martinez /
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Will Carlos Martinez spell the solution to the St. Louis Cardinals’ success?

The incumbent “ace” of the St. Louis Cardinals rotation, Carlos Martinez has the least amount of questions regarding his ability to pitch quality innings. However, for all of his talent, the man called “Tsunami” still hasn’t made that great leap into Cy Young contender that fans and the front office have expected of him, and that teams with playoff aspirations desperately desire.

Some of this might be due to the fact that he’s still only 26, but he’s entering his fourth season as a fixture in the starting rotation.

Yet, despite having a reputation for inconsistency, Martinez’ overall season numbers have remained fairly steady over the last 3 years. His strikeout and walk rates are fairly steady, and though he gave up more long balls in 2017, that’s to be somewhat expected in a league that’s increasingly interested in “home runs, walks, or bust.”

Also, in my opinion, some of Carlos’ worst 2017 moments seemed to stem from an overcompensation for an emotional reputation.

Why Martinez is the most important starting pitcher

If Carlos can find that sweet spot between proving he can lower his heart rate and bearing down to the point of overthrowing, he has the potential to ascend to a performance level that few in the game can match. This means grabbing that “ace” title and running with it, continuing to trust in Yadier Molina, and becoming that stopper who makes every other starter’s job easier.

Every team wants that guy who you know is going to get you a win, and Carlos is closer to that than any other St. Louis Cardinal starter.