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.