I'm short for time today—I'm writing after all, from Japan, which is deep into the apocalyptic nightmare that your Friday is about to become—so a few links and notes will have to suffice for today's morning post.
- Carlos Martinez! It's been a little less than a year since we first heard his name—incorrectly, as it turns out—and now we actually have 17 innings on which to hang our boundless admiration for his fastball. While I'm praising the organization's sudden (and relative) flexibility it's worth noting that we've yet to hear a peep about Martinez ending up in the bullpen even though he's smaller than the average starter prospect. I don't enjoy living in a universe where it's worth praising a team for not messing with a guy who has 22 strikeouts and five walks in 17 innings with a GO:AO rate of 2.4, but such is life for barely-six-feet-tall, sub-200 pound pitchers with live arms.
- I really enjoyed Derrick Goold's article yesterday about the "Lost Boys" of the Memphis Redbirds, not least because I had no idea that Bryan Anderson's last remaining supporter around the Cardinals organization is Mike Matheny, of all people. Anderson's had a poor start to 2011, and it's hard to blame them for going with Tony Cruz when it came time to choose a third catcher, but it's rough to go so quickly from an actual prospect to sharing time at catcher in AAA. I was never a big fan of Anderson when he was a prospect, but he seemed to go from overrated to not rated at all in a hurry.
- Incoming pitching debut alert: The Cardinals will get the first shot at Rockies prospect Juan Nicasio this weekend. So far as I can tell he is one of the few pitching prospects who can be so easily compared to David Freese, though I don't know anything about his ankles; Nicasio has posted outstanding strikeout and walk rates all through the minor leagues, but because of some extremely conservative promotion from the Rockies—he's played a level a year between the rookie-level Pioneer League in 2007 and the AA Texas League in 2011—all of that is suspicious, because he's always been old for his level. I'm sure there are explanations for that kind of promotion schedule, but with a mid-90s fastball this isn't exactly Pitching Pete Kozma the Rockies were looking at.