The Cardinals announced they would place RHP Carlos Martinez on a no-throw program prior to Spring games beginning. In the past couple of days, as rumors do, information was given from "sources" that he would not be returning until mid-season. In my opinion, from what information I have found, more of a presumption on a reporter's part.
In response to the "rumor" ~
Frank Cusumano, Twitter (Tuesday morning, Feb 25): A statement by Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch .... "says reports on Carlos Martinez being out till July are false."
"Carlos Martinez was not at #Cardinals camp Monday as he sought a second opinion on his shoulder issues. Results to be clearly Tuesday, but team has already prepared for possibility he’ll contribute as a reliever or his throwing program will be delayed."
You all can take from that what you will.
Therefore until Tuesday, March 5 arrives with the official announcement from the Cardinals, my personal "presumption" at the moment is that C Martinez will not be part of the rotation Opening Day. Certainly not enough days to prepare for multiple innings as a starter. However, I do look for him to be a part of the Cardinals 25 man roster, as suggested - in relief.
I, also, have to wait to find out. Until then, I'm sticking with my own view. One thing about 'sports injuries' in general, we are never told the in-stone future of a player until it happens. Why? I feel until all facts are obtained is an organization able to reveal the true status.
C Martinez dealt with three related injuries, lat strain, oblique strain and shoulder weakness, throughout the 2018 season. Injuries which took him out of the rotation and eventually placed him in the Cardinals bullpen to limit his pitch count considerably. And at the end of the season in relief, along with some duty as closer, he was very efficient in his performances. In September, he held a 1.93 ERA out of the bullpen with five saves.
When healthy, C Martinez has been lights-out for the Cardinals. Last season in his first eight starts he turned in a 1.62 ERA prior to this first visit to the IL.
No verdict is in stone at his point in time. Let's not jump to conclusions and presume the worst. But, as I mentioned before, I don't look for him to begin the 2019 season as a starter.
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