Cardinals Righty Carlos Martinez Shut Down (Shoulder), May Miss Opening Day

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Cardinals Righty Carlos Martinez Shut Down (Shoulder), May Miss Opening Day

Chicago Cubs

As much as I openly fear the one cruel, consistent truth about early Spring Training – at least one Cubs pitcher of consequence will get injured – I must concede that it is a rule that applies without passion, across the board.

That is to say, things like this will befall other NL Central competitors, too:

Martinez, 27, was as good as ever last year (3.11 ERA, 3.53 FIP), but managed only 118.2 innings last year – with half of his appearances coming in relief – because of injury issues. As he ramped up this spring, those concerns about his shoulder apparently resurfaced, he got an MRI, and, although it showed no damage, there is weakness that he needs to build back up.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt is staying optimistic:

The reality is that the Cardinals may simply have to use Martinez as a reliever going forward if they want to get the most value out of him – he could be a dominant one. Moreover, the Cardinals have a boatload of quality rotation options, especially with Alex Reyes set to return this year after a couple lost seasons. Which is to say, I’m not actually sure they would be all that worse off with a dominant reliever Martinez all year, rather than an up-and-down, half-season’s worth of Martinez as a starter (if that’s going to happen again).

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.