After spending three different stints on the DL, Carlos Martinez found himself on the back end of games. In 2019, that will not be true anymore.
A few days ago, Rick Hummel wrote about the news. Considering that he was extended with him starting games in mind, it makes sense that he would return to that role. Even if Carlos Martinez presents a top closing option for the St. Louis Cardinals heading into the 2019 season.
With Jordan Hicks on the fast track to closing, things are looking up. As long as every game can go directly from starter to closer. But that is a whole other animal. There are several implications to Martinez starting, and they aren’t all bad.
The whole reason that Martinez was moved to the bullpen was because he was spending so much time on the DL. His ability to stay healthy will be very important in sustaining his role in the rotation. If he proves to be injury prone again, he might find himself back in the bullpen.
According to Hummel, Martinez will be doing everything he can to stay healthy and pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals. That is good news, and hopefully it works.
Because Martinez will not be a bullpen arm, it looks like help will be brought in from outside the organization. From inside, there is clearly nothing too reliable. But the 40-man roster might not comply with that.
This likely means the end of a starting pitcher. There are several ways for that to happen, but for sheer room on the 40-man, a guy like John Gant might get the ax. But that is not the only option, a trade of Luke Weaver, or even Jack Flaherty, would accomplish the same thing.
Lots Of Guys, Five Spots
Decision time will be coming up. Martinez and Mikolas are getting a rotation spot, and so is Flaherty. Outside of that, we really can’t assume anything. There are three spots left for Weaver, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Dakota Hudson, John Gant, Daniel Poncedeleon, and Austin Gomber.
That is a good problem to have, don’t get me wrong, but this just screams impending moves. This will be a busy offseason, which would be true regardless of what Martinez would be doing in 2019.
Martinez back in the rotation is overall a good thing for the St. Louis Cardinals to have. That will prove to be true when we reach the 2019 season.