One of the Cardinals’ most talented players finds himself injured at the most inopportune time.
Carlos Martinez will miss the remainder of the season with a strained right shoulder. Because Martinez will not likely require surgery on his throwing arm, he is expected to be fully healthy by the time spring training starts with an offseason of rest.
You can see how awkwardly Martinez looked before being pulled with the injury on Friday here:
Cardinals Senior Vice President and GM John Mozeliak said Martinez could have pitched again had the injury occurred in August. Through a translator, Martinez said he was disappointed because he was looking forward to pitching in the postseason. You can see more of each parties statements here.
Quite the combination of bad luck and bad timing for the Cardinals as they come down the stretch.
Martinez, who owned a 14-7 record, 3.01 ERA/3.23 FIP/3.30 xFIP in what was looking like a breakout season, made the All-Star team in his first season as a starter in the rotation. With 179.2 innings pitched, Martinez had already thrown 90 more innings than he did last season, when he pitched in 57 games (50 relief appearances).
Martinez’s injury puts a cloud over the Cardinals’ potential postseason rotation.
The Cardinals’ rotation is deep with Lance Lynn, John Lackey, Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia still lurking. But without Martinez, the Cardinals will be without the pitcher with the highest upside in the rotation. Martinez’s a 54.5 percent ground ball rate and a rotation-leading 9.2 K/9 ratio represent the kind of peripherals that play well deep into October.
It has been an injury riddled season for the Cardinals, who have seen pitchers Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Jordan Walden miss significant time. The Cardinals have also been without key cogs in their everyday line-up such as Matt Holliday, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina at one point or another this season.
And yet, the Cardinals’ 98 wins are the most in baseball.