Thursday, July 11, 2013

Desperate for a fresh arm in the pen, Cardinals recall Carlos Martinez

After another short outing by starter Shelby Miller, which required Seth Maness to pitch 2 innings and Edward Mujica to pitch his 6th consecutive game, the Cardinals needed a fresh arm in the pen. Thus, Carlos Martinez was recalled today, with Michael Blazek being sent to the minors.

This is likely just a short-term stint for Martinez, who will likely head back to Memphis during the All-Star break to continue his work as a starter.

GM John Mozeliak described Martinez' role as "bullpen innings eater", when asked by Bernie Miklasz. So, Martinez will likely fill the long reliever role that Maness has occupied, while Seth gets a chance to rest.

I don't normally like it when teams shuttle pitchers up and down from their AAA club, especially one as talented as Martinez.  I think it can affect their development and Martinez needs work to develop a third pitch to go with his blazing fastball and excellent curve.

However, as this appears to be just a short-term move, mostly out of necessity, it should not have much affect.  Martinez should return to AAA to continue his work as a starter and provide depth for a struggling starting rotation. 

Joe Kelly is currently the 5th starter and Chris Carpenter is set to begin a rehab assignment on Monday, but neither one is a sure thing.  In addition, the recent struggles of Miller and Lance Lynn have raised concerns about the Cardinals pitching staff, and rightly so.

Bottom line, the Cardinals need Martinez stretched out at AAA as another option should one of the current starters falter.

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