Memphis Redbird on the move: Carlos Martinez

Just before his return to St. Louis, right-hander Carlos Martinez speaks with Brian Walton about being ready at any time - and more.

During the following exclusive interview, one of the subjects covered with Carlos Martinez was how Triple-A Memphis Redbirds right-hander needed to remain ready - because one never knows when the need might develop in St. Louis. Little did we know it would occur the very next day.

With Shelby Miller's elbow injury after just two pitches Wednesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals' original Thursday starter Jake Westbrook was pressed into emergency relief duty.

That means St. Louis needs a new pitcher to take the ball in the home finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night at Busch Stadium.

Having started most recently for the Redbirds on August 2, Martinez was the most likely candidate should the Cardinals add a fresh arm. His choice was confirmed on Wednesday night. It will be the 21-year-old's first major league start after 10 relief appearances earlier this season.

On Tuesday, Martinez sat down with me for a unique interview. It was at least our third extended session over the last three years, but what made it unique was that Carlos did it one-on-one, without an interpreter.

I had the pleasure of being the first to interview Carlos upon his arrival in the US in the spring of 2011, conducted with the help of current Palm Beach manager Johnny Rodriguez.

Then, just last May, with Martinez still in A-Advanced Palm Beach, I sat in on his English class. 15 months later, the 21-year-old feels he has improved enough with the language to attempt this English-only conversation.

Martinez began with his assessment of how his English is improving. Then, we moved on to baseball. Do not expect a polished speaker yet, but please join me in giving the young man credit for his efforts.


Coming soon

Other Memphis interviews ahead include manager Pop Warner, outfielder Mike O'Neill, second baseman Kolten Wong and pitcher Michael Wacha. Also, check out current and upcoming interviews from Peoria, Springfield and St. Louis.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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