Were he a member of another organization, any other organization really, Carlos Martinez‘s team would use him in the starting rotation as soon they could. They would have to resist the temptation to rush him as a young prospect. They would have to be careful to not put him in a situation that would overwhelm him.
The St. Louis Cardinals, on the other hand, have the luxury of waiting. Put more accurately, they have the luxury of making Martinez, age 22, wait for his crack at their starting rotation.
Entering Spring Training, tentative projections have Martinez and his mid-90’s heat coming out of the bullpen once again (where last we saw him in the World Series). But, as Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports, Martinez will work as a starter in some spring games:
In the first rotation swing through the Grapefruit League schedule, Lilliquist said there would be two potential starters each day working either two innings, or some 40 to 45 pitches, and then four or five relievers pitching one inning apiece.
Among this group of two-inning types will be righthanded rookie Carlos Martinez, for several years the crown jewel of the system who wound up as a dominant eighth-inning man in the postseason last year.”
It’s a perfect scenario for the Cardinals; if Martinez clicks, they have a blue-chipper to add to their rotation. If he’s not ready, they can wait. And that’s why many teams are bitterly, insanely jealous of the Cardinals.