I know its still early in spring training, but it appears that Carlos Martinez already has a leg up on Joe Kelly for the 5th starter job.
With each pitcher having two starts under their belt, Martinez has been more impressive so far, sporting a 3.00 ERA in his 6 innings of work, whereas Kelly has an unsightly 15.75 ERA in just 4 innings. Kelly was lit up in his last start against the Nationals, giving up 5 runs in just 2.1 innings, which is the main reason for his bloated ERA.
Of course, Kelly is probably wondering why he even has to try out for the 5th starter spot. Especially after posting a 9-2 record and 1.91 ERA in the second half of last season (12 starts).
Dark horse, Tyler Lyons, appears headed for AAA Memphis, after giving up 7 runs in just 0.1 innings today against Detroit. That ballooned his ERA up to 12.71 on the spring.
Whoever ends up with the job may not have it for long, as Jaime Garcia is making progress from his shoulder injury. According to Rick Hummel, Garcia will visit with Dr. James Andrews, starting today, to undergo two days of tests on his shoulder. Should everything check out fine, he could begin throwing as soon as Wednesday.
For his part, Garcia says he feels good and this is by no means a setback. If he continues to progress, I would estimate his return sometime late April or early May. However, as Cardinals fans are aware, these things almost never go smoothly.
In any case, Martinez seems to have positioned himself well for the 5th starter gig and I, along with Cardinals fans everywhere, will keep a close eye on how Garcia progresses.