Cardinals officially name Carlos Martinez as fifth starter

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In a decision that was all but inevitable after news of Jaime Garcia’s renewed shoulder issues, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch this afternoon that right-hander Carlos Martinez has won the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

Things likely would have turned out differently if Garcia was healthy, but Martinez earned the opportunity after posting a 3.94 ERA and 16/5 K/BB ratio across 16 innings during Grapefruit League action. The 23-year-old owns a mediocre 4.28 ERA through his first 117 2/3 innings in the big leagues and has had some issues putting away left-handed batters, but it’s hard to bet against his raw stuff.

Matheny ultimately chose Martinez over prospect left-hander Marco Gonzales, who will now head back to Triple-A. The 2013 first-round pick struggled with his control in his first taste of the majors last season, but it was a small sample and he owns a 2.48 ERA in the minors. He should get another shot soon.

Video: Jorge Soler launches first home run of spring training

Jorge Soler
Associated Press
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The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?

Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.

Mmm. That’s the good stuff. Here’s to eight and a half months more of that. Bring me the dingers.

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