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The Cardinals are pushing Carlos Martinez - A Hunt and Peck

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The Cardinals righty seems poised for stardom.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

In a rotation that seems to be inconsistent at best, the closest to a sure thing this season has been Carlos Martinez. He has been the Cardinals second most valuable pitcher behind Adam Wainwright, who has derived half of a win from his surprisingly strong bat this season. He leads the team in wins (for whatever that is worth), leads the starters in earned run average and strikeout percentage and has an ERA- of 79 and a FIP- of 92. But with increased performance comes increased expectations.

From timeliness to game details, that Cardinals are pushing Carlos Martinez because they know what he is capable of doing. Per Mark Saxon of ESPN:

The Cardinals think Martinez, 24, is getting a better handle on the little things and, just maybe, is in an early stage of the transition from talented young pitcher to elite starter. In some regards, his evolution has been impressive and indicative of a player becoming what the Cardinals think he should be.

And Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Disptach:

"He wants to be great," Matheny said. "He has every tool necessary to be great and we just want to help him get out of his own way sometimes. I think that’s going to be a consistent challenge. He’s got that edge to him where he expects a lot from himself. There is not anything missing. The intensity. Obviously the stuff. The work ethic. All the pieces are there to be elite."

Of course there is a fine line the Cardinals must walk here between encouraging Carlos to be the elite pitcher he can be and stripping him of his fun-loving and gracious personality that has helped him achieve the success in the first place. But if the results are performances like Wednesday’s, then the rest of the league should be on notice that a tsunami is coming*.

Martinez nails the details in his quest 'to be great' | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

Carlos Martinez learning to excel under Cardinals' microscope | St Louis Cardinals | ESPN

*sorry **

** no I’m not

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