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Carlos Martinez will start in place of Adam Wainwright on Monday night against the Mets

Jun 15, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

carlos martinez getty Getty Images

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced Sunday morning that top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez — who has been serving as a reliever this year for St. Louis — will make a spot start Monday night in the club’s series opener at home against the visiting Mets. This according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Martinez is filling in for Adam Wainwright, who is being skipped with mild right elbow discomfort.

The 22-year-old Dominican right-hander owns a pedestrian 4.86 ERA in 63 major league innings, but he possesses excellent raw stuff and has at times looked dominant. Baseball America ranked him a Top 35 prospect this winter.

This will be the second major league start for Martinez, who carries the upside of a future ace.

Wainwright, the Cardinals’ current ace, is expected to return to the rotation next weekend.


  1. elguapo16 - Jun 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    I know the cardinals can seemingly do no wrong, but is it really smart to spot start your prize pitching prospect after he’s been in the bullpen all year?

    Reminds me a bit of how the mets jostled Mejia around in his first year in the big leagues. Just seems like a recipe for disaster, especially given that Martinez is such a power pitcher/hard thrower.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      I’m indifferent for the most part, they have limited options beyond Martinez so I suppose he’s the safe play.

      As Drew noted above, the raw stuff is excellent but he’s been living off the rep of last years dominant playoff performances – everything else has indeed been “pedestrian”.

      Given Wainwright’s status (I wouldn’t be surprised to see him DL’d sooner than later) Martinez may get more than just tomorrows spot start if he has a solid outing.

    • kycardsfan - Jun 15, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      They said he’s on a 50-60 pitch count. They sent Grichuck down today for another pitcher. Most likely the call up will piggy back Martinez’s start.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      He is in line to be a starter. Was always a starter until getting called up. He has started before.
      Additionally, they have him on a pitch count. I like the call. Dude should have been named the 4th starter initially anyway. Although J. Kelly had something to say about that as well!

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Yep, per other commenters, his long-term future is as a starter. And, about time, even though I’m sorry for the reason why.

      Hey, Carlos? Make sure your Twitter account doesn’t get “hacked” again. Don’t want to be off the “Mike’s guys” list again.

  2. missingdiz - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    I don’t understand the reasoning–I hope somebody can explain. I understand taking a starter who’s not doing well, especially if he’s only got one quality pitch, and making him a reliever. But why take a guy who’s having trouble getting 3-6 outs and ask him to get 18-21? He’s coming in now and giving it all he’s got and not doing so well. Now he’s supposed to learn to pace himself and somehow do better?

    If Waino is only missing one start, why not bring up a starter from AAA and roll the dice for one game? Even is Waino actually is going to be out longer, it makes sense to send Martinez down to get used to starting.

  3. montrealknowledge - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Martinez IS A STARTER, he wants to start Has the mindset to start, that’s why he is struggling in the bullpen. He wants to work counts and control a game, not just come in and throw heat. Not sure his arm is stretched out for a long start, but with Kelly out too, he is the least worse option. Probably be in the starting rotation next year anyways.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 16, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Especially since Kelly’s hammy could take until Xmas to heal, the way his rehab is going.

  4. yahmule - Jun 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    The mistake was not naming him fifth starter when he clearly won the competition in spring training. He has great raw stuff, but he needs to find some way to get left handed hitters out. For his career, they’re .313/.400/.465 against him.

  5. shadowshand - Jun 15, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    If he’s spot starting with a pretty low pitch count, has been having “trouble” out of the pen, wants to work deeper into a lineup and is viewed as a potential ace, I can’t think of a better guy to have behind the plate than Molina.

  6. miguelcairo - Jun 15, 2014 at 9:41 PM

    He’ll watch some porn to get him going.

    • renaado - Jun 15, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      Holy Jesus… Hope this guy will run out of “essence”.


      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        I know renaado. When I saw that I thought…


    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      When I first read the Deadspin piece, when this first came out, I had “Spanish Flea” stuck in my head as an earworm for a week.

  7. montrealknowledge - Jun 16, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    Hope he gets out of the 4th… But he having trouble throwing strikes… I feel I was wrong saying he could do this… Respect to those who said ” this wasn’t the time” We all know he’ll eventually be a starter, but this ain’t helping his case.

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