The news is in. Carlos Martinez, the hot young phenom starter for the St. Louis Cardinals, is done for the season. The shoulder tightness that pulled him from Friday’s start has also cut his season short. When the 24 year old phenom left the field in tears, something bad was in the forecast. Something only an athlete knows right away. Your body flashing a check your engine light.
I don’t need General Manager John Mozeliak to use crayons and draw it out for me. Martinez is done not only for the regular season but postseason too. With ten days left in the season, the chances of Carlos coming back in early October are slim to fuggedaboutit!
As we digest this unfortunate news, I’ll provide a few reactions.
*Adam Wainwright will not start now. He isn’t conditioned to start after not throwing to hitters until this afternoon. It’s just not possible. That opportunity is gone. Waino at best will be a reliever.
*The doubt is eliminated from Lance Lynn’s playoff rotation future. It was looking cloudy for the up and down starter. Same for Michael Wacha. Each starter had been rocked hard. The page is turned with Martinez’s injury. Both these have been there before, good and bad. They are ready. I think Lance Lynn starts game 4 on the road.
*Tyler Lyons will get another start and it could fall on the final day of the Pittsburgh series. A potential big day for the journeyman arm to solidify his playoff chances. They could let Waino grab a couple innings that day but I doubt it. It will most likely be Lyons and Carlos Villanueva.
*If this is the end of the line for Martinez, what an entry into the land of major league starters. A bright future lies ahead for this man and that’s part of the reason you shut him down today and cut short his 2015 contributions. He’s young, raw and has never approached this amount of innings. The innings load may have simply worn down his right arm and shoulder. The hope is nothing lingers. No surgery is needed so Carlos can just come into spring and go right at it. He threw 179.2 innings, compiled a 14-7 record and struck out 184 batters to 63 walks in 29 starts. He finished with a flurry in September before the injury.
*The Cards can handle this folks. The 2015 team are built for rough cracked roads and uncharted waters. They have won 97 games without starters all over the field. This setback won’t slow them down. Martinez’s fire will be missed but he will still be around, building cups and smiling. The team will be hindered yet trudge on. They’ve been doing it all year.
Feel sad about the loss of one of the most exciting pitchers in the game but also know the Redbirds have this covered. If this injury manages to cripple them, this display of resilience will be all for nothing. There are 8 games left in the regular season. Then, it’s the fight to 11 wins and a 12th championship. While he won’t see the end, Carlos Martinez helped team get there by blowing everybody’s expectations out of the water. From a maybe 5 inning guy to arguably the ace of this staff. What a season. It’s been cut short but that doesn’t mean the sweetness of his season loses any of its flavor. The future of Carlos Martinez is too valuable to risk for one postseason.
As they say, play ball. That’s all you can do in this game.