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.
"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*.
** no I’m not
what else is going on in baseball...
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- Noah Syndergaard reclaimed the #PitchersWhoRake throne with a 415-foot blast | MLB.com
- Harper's inconsistency highlights Trout's greatness. | Sports on Earth
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- Little League World Series 2016: Bracket, schedule, teams and scores | SBNation.com
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- A.J. Ellis -- How I'll describe the great Vin Scully to my son | ESPN
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what the cardinals are up to...
- 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
- Rookie Reyes settling into his new role | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com
- St. Louis Cardinals know what's at stake in wild-card race | St Louis Cardinals | ESPN
- Who should it come down to: Martinez or Wainwright? | ESPN
- The Cardinals & Matt Holliday: Don't Write Him Off. Mike Matheny Will Write Him In | 101Sports.com
KNOW THINE ENEMY...
the nl central
- Anthony Rizzo climbs wall to catch foul ball | cubs.com
- The View From Section 416: A Cubs fan abroad, awash in a sea of Yankees caps | ESPN
- Jon Lester continues rotation run as Chicago Cubs win again | Chicago Cubs Blog | ESPN
- Five things we learned Wednesday: Pirates can still make playoffs | SweetSpot | ESPN