Cardinals: St. Louis feeling optimistic about Carlos Martinez
Carlos Martinez is a big question mark for the Cardinals, but the team is increasingly optimistic about his outlook.
The St. Louis Cardinals were quick to name Carlos Martinez as a starting pitcher, which raised eyebrows after he faltered in his first two outings in spring training.
But Martinez has since picked it up, featuring a fastball that has been the second-highest on the team behind Jordan Hicks, and been very good in his last two appearances, with Shildt using it to defend his decision to give Martinez a spot in the rotation so early.
“I feel the power right now,” Martinez said, via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Sometimes when I need to throw hard, I can do it. In the first inning, I was trying to, you know, make quick outs, but I got in trouble. … I want to show I’ve got power, and sometimes the hitter — they need to see my fastball.”
Harnessing that power, and locating it consistently, is the challenge for Martinez. It is something that he has struggled with throughout his career and been a large reason why he is entering a season filled with uncertainty as he enters the final year of his five-year, $51 million deal.
But if he is able to turn into the two-time All-Star pitcher once again, most of the concerns surrounding the Cardinals’ rotation will disappear. That, of course, will be easier said than done, but the Cardinals appear optimistic about his chances of pulling it off.
“I know we’ve got a couple of guys who are hurt,” Martinez said. “But I’m here. I’m here because I want to help the team and I understand I have the power to be in the starting rotation. I’m here, right now, to be a starter for the long season.”