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Will Carlos Martinez take another step up? - A Hunt and Peck

VEB seems to think so.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Last year was a very good year for Carlos Martinez. He was an All-Star, as fans rallied behind him in support of his cause. He pitched the most innings of his career at 179 2/3, with a 3.01 ERA (132 ERA+) and 14 wins. It was even more than what fans had hoped for, really, especially after the sudden and tragic passing of his long-time friend and teammate, Oscar Taveras.

El Gallo's 2015 season was cut short due to fatigue and a shoulder injury, but that has done nothing to slow down the excitement for his 2016. Just take a look at the VEB's own projections:

Needless to say, we love Carlos Martinez. (So much that I have dedicated my Thursday posts to him.)

Bernie Miklasz from 101.1 ESPN seems to share some of our enthusiasm, though does note that the injury risk is there:

It's all about pitching health with Martinez. He's already displayed an aptitude for making adjustments and finding new ways to deal with hitters. He's an intense competitor that's already well ahead of the curve in developing into a complete pitcher... Will Martinez hit the so-called wall again when he goes beyond, say, 150 innings pitched? Or will "El Gallo" be safer as he matures physically? The risk factors seem high, but these are compelling questions that can't be answered now. But Carlos Martinez is a very special talent that has a chance to put together a very special career.

All I have to say is ¡Viva el Gallo!

2016 Cardinals Preview: Carlos Martinez, a Very Special Talent |

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