The St. Louis Cardinals may have found their everyday first baseman who can also hit. As the Cardinals roll into frigged Chicago, can the baby bears cool the hot bat?
Jose Martinez should have been no surprise to anyone and yet the numbers he is posting this season are impressive to say the least. The St. Louis Cardinals have found their everyday first baseman who has been raking of late at the plate.
In just 55 at-bats this season (16 games), Jose has managed 20 hits of which four were doubles and three were home runs. He has accounted for 15 RBI and has scored five runs himself. He has walked eight times and struck out only five times.
That’s right, you read that correctly: in 55 at-bats, Jose has K’d only five times. I’m just going to let that sit there for a moment…
Jose Martinez is currently carrying a .364 batting average. His slugging is a jaw-dropping .600 and his OPS is 1.046. Please, baseball gods, keep Martinez healthy and in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup each and every day.
But wait… Jose hurt himself in Sunday’s final competition facing the Reds when he collided with a Reds runner at first. He seemed to shake it off on Sunday but it is uncertain whether he will be in the lineup in what would have been the second game of the Cubs series had the weather not had other things in mind.
All signs seem to indicate that the St. Louis Cardinals will play their game tonight against the Cubs. Will Martinez grace the lineup?
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While I was disappointed in yesterday’s postponement, this did allow a day of healing for Jose and I now hope for him to get to play tonight especially since the St. Louis Cardinals are facing Tyler Chatwood.
Chatwood, a right-handed pitcher to face Martinez who his left-handed at the plate, has not been terribly dominant in his two prior starts. In fact, he has take two losses so far this season. In his two previous starts, Chatwood tossed six innings against the Reds early in April allowing one earned run on four hits and five innings against the Pirates allowing five earned runs on nine hits.
In other words, having to face off against Jose Martinez would be a great thing for the St. Louis Cardinals and a bad thing for Chatwood.
Want more praise for Jose? He currently ranks 4th in MLB in RBI (second in the NL behind only the great Bryce Harper and only two RBI behind him), tied for 4th in HR in the NL (Yadier Molina is tied there too), and ranked 19th in the NL in WAR.
Here’s one more moment of praise for this slugger this season:
So the question remains: can the cold weather of Chicago cool the hot bat of Martinez? If he plays in the lineup tonight then we may get our answer. If the St. Louis Cardinals rest him then maybe that will be an answer too.
To me, the answer is simple: no, the cold Chicago will not slow the greatness that is Jose Martinez. This soon-to-be player-of-the-week will only get better as his approach at the plate does not- as of yet- seem to be dependent on only one aspect of a pitcher. In other words, Martinez has secured the craft of hitting such that he should endure any changes pitchers try to incorporate.
And, unlike Anthony Rizzo who lazily wants less baseball despite being paid a high rate to participate in baseball activities, my guess is that Jose will fight to be in the lineup to continue the betterment of his numbers.
What do you think of the great but humble Jose Martinez? Oh, and where should he bat in the lineup? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!