What Carlos Martinez’s long-term injury means for Cardinals

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Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts in the fourth inning of an MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts in the fourth inning of an MLB game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 18, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals will be without Carlos Martinez for a significant amount of time, the latest blow for an injury ridden rotation.

The first half of the St. Louis Cardinals’ season will be remembered for not just their offensive struggles, but for their pitching staff falling apart.

Jordan Hicks was lost almost immediately for a significant amount of time and remains out. Andrew Miller spent time on the injured list. Jack Flaherty and Miles Mikolas are currently on the IL while Kwang Hyun Kim has battled back injuries for most of the season and Carlos Martinez fought through an ankle injury suffered during a celebration earlier this season.

Now, Martinez is injured once again — and he’ll be out a significant period of time. He was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right thumb, manager Mike Shildt told reporters, including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He had persisting pain when he tried to play catch and when it did not subside, underwent an MRI that revealed the tear.

Martinez has been incredibly inconsistent as a starting pitcher, posting a 6.23 ERA in 82.1 innings, but his injury only adds to what is easily the most pressing need for the Cardinals. Their rotation was already without Dakota Hudson, who is likely out for the season, and they could struggle to eat innings without overworking a bullpen that has seen an abundance of action early on this season.

Even before Martinez’s injury, the Cardinals were expected to add one, possibly two, starting pitchers before the trade deadline. Texas Rangers’ Kyle Gibson and Minnesota Twins’ Jose Berrios are among the options that they will consider.

Next. Don't give up on the St. Louis Cardinals just yet. dark

But with Martinez lost, and Flaherty and Mikolas not close to returning, the Cardinals may have to step up their efforts to land another starter. The situation, quite frankly, is about as dire as it gets.

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