Those pesky homers. In 2017, Carlos Martinez whiffed more and walked fewer than the previous season, in fact setting a career high in strikeout percent (25.3). More flyballs and a spike in HR/FB resulted in a home run rate nearly double his career mark. Not much changed with pitch repertoire, but like many groundball pitchers, Martinez was victimized by the league-wide movement toward uppercut swings. Despite the additional homers, Martinez joined the 200-inning club for the first time. Being allowed to pitch into the seventh is important in today's landscape. If there's a concern, it's durability, though consecutive seasons with more than 30 starts should assuage those fears. Still just 26, there's another step for Martinez if he combats the increase in homers along with lowering his just-above-league-average walk rate (3.1 BB/9). A high WHIP keeps Martinez from the elite, but he still profiles as a fantasy ace. Oh yeah, ignore last season's low win total, as Martinez was a victim of low run support.
Martinez will not start Sunday's game against the Brewers, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Jack Flaherty will toe the rubber instead, with the Cardinals done playing spoiler after they officially eliminated Milwaukee from postseason contention with a win Saturday. Martinez saw his home-run rate spike this season, but he's not alone in that regard. Otherwise he had a pretty normal season by his standards, averaging better than a strikeout per inning while exceeding 200 frames for the first time in his career.
Martinez labored through 4.1 innings in Tuesday's no-decision against the Cubs, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with four walks and six strikeouts. Martinez displayed electric stuff from the get-go, striking out the first two batters he faced. While the talented 26-year-old struggled with command later on in the outing in the absence of master pitch-framer Yadier Molina (concussion) and was removed after 92 pitches, Martinez did enough to lead his club an important victory even though he wasn't credited with the win. Martinez's next start is scheduled for Sunday's season finale against Milwaukee, but plans could change if St. Louis is eliminated from postseason contention in the coming days.
Martinez (12-11) allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out six batters through 6.1 innings to take the win over Cincinnati on Thursday. Martinez was nursing the flu this weekend, and he had his worst outing of the season against the Cubs last time out. So, while Thursday's showing was far from a gem, the righty still rewarded fantasy owners with the win. Martinez sports a 3.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 for the campaign. He'll look to cap off another strong fantasy season with home starts against the Cubs and Brewers.
Martinez (illness) is expected to make his scheduled start Thursday against the Reds, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Cardinals sent Martinez home last Sunday, as they did not want the flu-like bug he was dealing with to spread. Manager Mike Matheny provided an update Tuesday, saying Martinez has already improved and will join the team in Cincinnati to start on schedule. Martinez struggled against the Cubs his last time out, and he's had a tough time with the Reds in two starts this season, allowing nine earned runs on 10 hits over 11.1 innings. Regardless, most owners will want to keep him active.
Martinez (11-11) allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five over 5.1 innings to take the loss Friday against the Cubs. Martinez entered the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead, but was clobbered for six runs while recording just one out in the frame, leading to his 11th loss of the campaign. His rough outing was terrible timing for fantasy managers, as this was the first time since July that he allowed more than three earned runs in a game, and should they survive this week, he's a solid bet to bounce back the rest of the way. He'll make his next start Wednesday against the Reds.