St. Louis Cardinals: Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes are making progress
St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes are rehabbing from injuries, and while Martinez looks close to returning to action, Reyes will require more time.
Carlos Martinez is ramping up his arm strength as he prepares to join the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, hopefully within the next two weeks. Martinez has been out with a right shoulder issue since the start of the season, and he will be a reliever when he comes back.
He began his rehab assignment with Low-A Peoria, and recorded three groundouts on six pitches, although his pitch speed hovered around 93 mph. On May 8, he appeared in a game with Triple-A Memphis and was hitting 98 mph with his fastball.
While the Cardinals rotation could use some help, the team feels Martinez will contribute the most as a bullpen weapon. How he will be deployed out of the bullpen remains to be seen, but it’s possible that he could see some save chances down the road when Jordan Hicks needs to rest.
Martinez has been a reliever before, most recently after coming off the injured list last season, and he notched five saves during that time, so this is not uncharted territory for the 27-year-old hurler.
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Alex Reyes, who broke his left pinkie finger after punching a dugout wall in April, is farther away from returning than Martinez is. According to Jim Hayes, a FOX Sports Midwest reporter, Reyes threw 60 to 70 pitches to batters on May 7, but he is still wearing a splint on his left hand. Health has been fleeting for Reyes during his career, and it is unclear when he will return to action in the minor leagues.
When Martinez returns, the Cardinals will need to decide whom to demote. Dominic Leone could be a candidate, as he has one minor league option remaining and has struggled of late. Yairo Munoz could also be an option so he could get regular playing time, although it is unlikely the Cardinals will want to roll with a three-man bench.
Martinez and Reyes still need to get up to speed before returning to action, but when they are both back, the team could be even more formidable on the mound.