St Louis Cardinals: Carlos Martinez making case for rotation spot

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a photo on Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Carlos Martinez #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a photo on Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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After spending the previous season as the closer, Carlos Martinez is showing strong signs he deserves to be in the St Louis Cardinals starting rotation this year.

There was going to be a competition for the fifth spot in the St Louis Cardinals starting rotation anyways. Then Miles Mikolas went and got himself hurt, being shut down with a forearm injury. Essentially meaning there would be two spots in the rotation up for grabs. Carlos Martinez is having a solid spring thus far and proving he deserves one of those spots.

Martinez has tasted success as both a starting pitcher, being elected to two All-Star games, and as a reliever, locking down 24 saves last season as the Cardinals closer. His underlying problem has always been finding the strike zone. Those issues persist still as Martinez has walked five in nine innings this spring.

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The control issues seem to be the only flaw for Martinez as he is doing his best to lock up a rotation spot. His latest outing was a five-inning gem against the Washington Nationals where he didn’t allow any runs on just three hits.

The Nationals fielded a lineup of mostly regulars and Martinez ran through them rather handily. Juan Soto had two of the three hits, everyone else failed to make solid contact.

Martinez recorded ten outs via ground balls against just two fly-ball outs. He struck out two and didn’t issue any walks. Carlos Martinez seems to be getting close to mid-season form just two weeks into spring training. His resurgence is a welcome sight for the Cardinals, especially in the face of the Mikolas injury.

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Carlos Martinez is going to be a crucial clog in the rotation and the hope remains he can find the strike zone enough to remain relevant for the St Louis Cardinals and their push for the playoffs.