The competition for the St. Louis Cardinals fifth starter job to open the season has officially ended with an announcement made by Mike Matheny following Monday’s game. 23-year-old Carlos Martinez, scheduled to pitch in his final spring contest on Tuesday, has been declared the winner.
Martinez, Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales had been competing for the final starting spot. Garcia had moved into the apparent lead before suffering a shoulder injury that led to his placement on the 15-day disabled list on Monday.
Martinez, 23, had been the pre-camp favorite. However, he has had a good but not great spring with a 3.94 ERA over 16 innings. The right-hander struck out 16 and walked five while holding opposing hitters to a collective .213 batting average.
Gonzales, also 23, pitched well this spring. The fact that he is less experienced makes it easier to send him down to Triple-A Memphis to start and be prepared for the first rotation opening to arise. This move has not yet been made official, but seems almost certain.
For details on the likely final seven cuts remaining required for the Cardinals to get down to 25 players, refer to this article: Cardinals Drop Four Players in Fifth Set of Cuts.
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