Martinez was unable to participate in Friday's opening day of summer camp because of a pending COVID-19 test, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The veteran right-hander was one of four players -- Genesis Cabrera, Ivan Herrera and Elehuris Montero being the other three -- that had been in the Dominican Republic during the shutdown and was awaiting the results of his test. Martinez and the rest of the group were tested Thursday morning, approximately a day later than originally planned because of a flight delay. Assuming a clean bill of health, Martinez may have his test results back in time to participate in Saturday's workout. If that happens, he'll begin his quest to tighten his grip on a rotation spot.
Martinez should still have a strong chance of remaining in the rotation during an abbreviated 2020 season due to the likelihood the Cardinals regularly deploying six starting pitchers, Ben Fredrickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Martinez was lauded for his offseason work ethic, as he came into spring camp in good shape and then compiled 13 strikeouts over 13 Grapefruit League innings before spring training was suspended. The veteran right-hander appeared set to claim at least the No. 5 spot in the rotation when play was paused, and even if Miles Mikolas (forearm) is ready to return whenever Opening Day finally unfolds, Martinez would appear set to benefit from the likelihood of a six-man Cardinals starting rotation.
Martinez had likely secured the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation by the time spring training was suspended, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The veteran right-hander had apparently made good on his offseason goal of reclaiming a rotation spot, remaining healthy throughout spring training and proving his previously ailing right shoulder was up to the rigors of starting. Martinez logged 13 innings overall across four Grapefruit League appearances, and even in his poorest outing of spring March 11 against the Mets, he was able to record six strikeouts over 3.2 innings.
Martinez is slated to throw at least 45 pitches in twice-a-week bullpen sessions while spring training is suspended, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Manager Mike Shildt and his staff have developed the maintenance program to keep their projected starters ready to ramp up for a likely second wave of spring training, and, eventually, for the regular season. Martinez, who was fighting for a rotation spot when Grapefruit League play was paused Thursday, is expected to be subject to the protocol. The veteran right-hander went into the suspension of spring play on a somewhat sour note, as he allowed six earned runs over 3.2 innings versus the Mets on Wednesday, although he did record six strikeouts as well.
Martinez started a Grapefruit League game against the Mets on Wednesday and allowed six earned runs on six hits, a walk, a wild pitch and a hit batsman across 3.2 innings. He struck out six.
The right-hander was truly all over the spectrum in what would turn out to be his final Grapefruit League start due to the cancellation of the remainder of spring training due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns. Martinez gave up a pair of extra-base hits overall, allowing a double to Robinson Cano and a two-run home run to J.D. Davis, who he also plunked during the outing. While the wild performance put somewhat of a damper on what has otherwise been a strong spring for Martinez, the six strikeouts were certainly a positive. Given his relatively solid form throughout Grapefruit League play, Martinez would seem to have a strong shot at a spot in the Opening Day rotation; however, with the first game of the season now delayed by at least two weeks past its original March 26 date, it's also possible veteran Miles Mikolas (forearm) has enough time to get healthy and reclaim one of the two spots currently considered as available.
Martinez started a Grapefruit League win over the Nationals and fired three scoreless innings, during which he allowed no hits and three walks while recording four strikeouts.
The hard-throwing right-hander continued to make an airtight case for a spot in the starting rotation, mostly breezing through a Nationals lineup loaded with regulars on 51 pitches. Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports Martinez topped out at 94 mph on his fastball but mostly hovered in the range of 90 mph while concentrating on his fastball command. Martinez's velocity certainly speaks to the health of his previously troublesome shoulder, a sentiment the veteran echoed after the game. "Right now I feel really good," Martinez said. "Last year I felt frustration because of [shoulder weakness], but right now I feel really comfortable, I feel ready. I feel strong."
Martinez, who threw 34 pitches Sunday in a Grapefruit League tie against the Mets, emerged from the outing without any shoulder issues and played catch Monday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The right-hander is vying for a return to the starting rotation this spring, and with Miles Mikolas (forearm) slated to miss the start of the regular season, Martinez looks to have a clear path to his goal. The veteran's outing against New York was a mixed bag, with Martinez cruising through his first frame before surrendering a pair of walks that helped lead to two earned runs in the next inning. Manager Mike Shildt has emphasized that how Martinez recovers and prepares between outings will be of overriding importance in determining if he can reclaim a rotation spot this season. "I think games are going to matter, of course," Shildt said. "It's just really about what he does during the work and how he recovers in between the games that's really going to dictate as we try to ramp him up."
Martinez, who's vying to return to the starting rotation on a full-time basis, threw a complete bullpen session Saturday morning, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The fact Martinez was able to go full throttle two days after his Thursday bullpen session was certainly encouraging with respect to his rotation aspirations. The right-hander spent all of last season as a reliever, logging 48.1 innings out of the bullpen and enjoying impressive success as a closer with 24 saves in 27 chances while generating a 53:18 K:BB. As his first action of spring indicates, Martinez appears to be holding up well in the early going, although he'll ramp up the intensity when he and his fellow pitchers face hitters for the first time next week.
Martinez (shoulder) reported to spring training this week without any restrictions for his throwing program, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The Cardinals are allowing Martinez to audition for a rotation spot this spring, but because he hasn't started a game since the middle of the 2018 season while experiencing multiple arm injuries along the way, he may take a little longer than his fellow competitors to build up his workload. If Martinez's surgically repaired right shoulder can't hold up to the rigors of starting during the spring, the Cardinals will likely move him back to the bullpen, where he would be a leading candidate for ninth-inning duties. Martinez would probably offer his most fantasy value as a closer, but he wouldn't be completely devoid of upside if he ends up in the rotation.
The Cardinals plan to have Martinez (shoulder) compete for a rotation spot when spring training opens, though he'll likely assume closing duties in the event the coaching staff determines he's unfit to handle a starter's workload, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Martinez has stated that he's most "comfortable" as a starter, and with the right-hander having responded well to an offseason procedure to alleviate recurring pain in his shoulder, he'll at least be given the chance to work in his preferred capacity to begin the spring. The 28-year-old began his throwing program in earnest last week, when he tossed his first bullpen session of the winter. He should gradually build up the intensity of his workouts in the next couple weeks before reporting to camp without any restrictions, putting him on even footing with his other competitors in a wide-open race for the final opening in the rotation. Though Martinez hasn't started a big-league game since the summer of 2018, he was more than serviceable as a full-time member of the rotation from 2015 through 2017, running up a 3.26 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 15.6 K-BB percentage over 92 starts.
Martinez (shoulder) will begin throwing off a mound Tuesday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Martinez underwent offseason shoulder surgery after performing solely as a reliever in 2019. It's unclear how long his shoulder was an issue, but it could help to explain some of his struggles during the postseason. The right-hander expressed a desire to compete for a spot in the starting rotation next season, and he could be ready to do so by spring training if his recovery continues smoothly.
Martinez (shoulder) would prefer to be a starter next season, David Solomon of 590 The Fan reports.
Martinez has multiple routes to fantasy relevance next season. He was a very good starting pitcher for the first several years of his career and could certainly be one again in 2020. He pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2019, moving into the closer role and recording 24 saves. He'll come with a large amount of risk, however, as he underwent a shoulder cleanup procedure in October and battled shoulder issues early in the season as well.
Martinez underwent a cleanup procedure on his right shoulder Saturday, freelance writer Joe Schwarz reports.
Martinez struggled in the postseason with six runs allowed on six hits and four walks over 3.2 innings, but it's unclear how long he was actually dealing with the shoulder issue. The 28-year-old will have over three months to recover before pitchers and catchers report in February. The right-hander worked exclusively as a reliever in 2019, but he could transition back to starting pitcher next spring if his health isn't a major concern.
Martinez picked up the save against the Diamondbacks on Monday, giving up no earned runs on one hit over one inning to close out the Cardinals' 9-7 victory. He struck out one and walked none.
Martinez was tasked with protecting a three-run lead after the Diamondbacks started a ninth-inning rally against John Brebbia, and while he allowed one of the runners on base to come around and score, he managed to shut the door and pick up his 24th save of the season. The longtime starter has had some bumps in the road, but he's largely adapted well in his first go-around as the Cardinals' full-time closer, posting a 3.30 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 51:18 K:BB across 46.1 innings.
Martinez pitched a scoreless ninth inning while walking one to get the save in a 9-8 victory over the Cubs on Saturday. He struck out two.
Martinez has now converted 12 straight save chances and has accumulated 23 saves on the campaign. The 28-year-old is 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 50 strikeouts in 45.1 innings this season.
Martinez recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning while walking one batter to record a save during a 2-1 victory against the Cubs on Friday.
It wasn't a full-inning save, but Martinez bounced back from yielding three runs against the Cubs on Thursday to post his 22nd save of the year. Despite the rough outing, his appearance Thursday didn't count as a blown save, so Martinez has converted 11 straight save chances. He is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 48 strikeouts in 44.1 innings this season.
Martinez was credited with his third hold in an extra-inning win over the Cubs on Thursday but allowed three earned runs on three hits and a walk over one-third of an inning while also recording one strikeout.
The normally reliable closer didn't have it Thursday, a rare occurrence during what has been a largely stellar stretch of high-leverage work for Martinez. Asked to slam the door in the bottom of the ninth with the Cardinals holding a 4-1 advantage, Martinez got himself into immediate trouble by issuing a leadoff walk to Nicholas Castellanos and a subsequent single to Kris Bryant. A Kyle Schwarber strikeout later, Ben Zobrist laced an RBI double and Willson Contreras immediately followed with a run-scoring single. The multi-run outing was the first on Martinez's ledger since Aug. 18 and also snapped the 11-appearance scoreless streak he'd forged since that outing.
Martinez induced four straight groundouts in a four-out save during a 5-1 victory against the Nationals on Wednesday.
The right-hander entered with two runners aboard and two outs in the eighth, but he quickly induced a groundout to end the frame. He did the same with three ground balls in the ninth. Martinez hasn't struck out any batters in his last two appearances, but owners have hardly anything to complain about, as he's converted 10 straight saves and carries a 10.2-inning scoreless streak. Overall, Martinez is 4-2 with 21 saves, three blown opportunities, a 2.91 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 43.1 innings this season.
Martinez pitched one-third of an inning to record his 20th save in a 4-2 win over the Nationals on Monday.
The Cardinals called upon Martinez with two outs in the ninth inning, and he quickly forced a line-out to nail down his 20th save of the season. This was his first outing after Martinez was hospitalized with asthma. Martinez has a 4-2 record with a 3.00 ERA and 47 strikeouts through 41 appearances this season.
Martinez (illness) will be available Monday, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Martinez revealed Monday that the illness which sidelined him over the weekend and sent him to the hospital Saturday night was asthma, the first time he's dealt with such a problem. The closer should be called on if a save situation arises Monday against Nationals.
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|2011||AFX-Quad Cities River Ba||38.0||8||8||0||3||2||0||50||14||27||2.37||1.079|
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