Carlos Martinez
Carlos Martinez
27-Year-Old PitcherSP
St. Louis Cardinals
Injury Shoulder
Est. Return 5/1/2019
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Martinez seemingly opened the 2018 campaign in stellar fashion, pitching to a 1.62 ERA and 1.08 WHIP before the first of three disabled list visits interrupted his season. However, only 47 strikeouts with a bloated 22 walks in those 50 innings warned of an impending correction. After missing a month with a right lat strain, Martinez returned to post a 5.32 ERA and 1.73 WHIP with 26 walks in 46.2 frames before being felled with an oblique strain. He only missed one start, but a right shoulder strain sent him back to the DL. When Martinez returned, he worked out of the bullpen, eventually as closer and converted all five of his save chances in September. Despite a 1.47 ERA out of the bullpen, the plan is for Martinez to return to the rotation. Wait and see how Martinez looks in the spring before returning him to near-ace levels. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a five-year, $51 million contract extension with the Cardinals in February of 2017, avoiding arbitration. Contract includes $17 million team option ($500,000 buyout) for 2022 and $18 million team option ($500,000 buyout) for 2023.
Resumes throwing program
PSt. Louis Cardinals
March 20, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) returned to camp Wednesday and resumed his throwing program with a session of flat-ground catch, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
Martinez had been away since Saturday due to the birth of his daughter. The right-hander continues to track toward a possible May return, with mound work presumably the next step on his rehab checklist.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .252 723 147 86 157 32 4 17
Since 2017vs Right .207 656 187 45 122 21 2 15
2019vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Left .237 300 57 42 59 11 2 3
2018vs Right .216 221 60 18 41 8 0 2
2017vs Left .262 423 90 44 98 21 2 14
2017vs Right .204 435 127 27 81 13 2 13
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA at Home
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ERA at Home
ERA at Home
Since 2017Home 3.00 1.21 161.0 9 5 2 9.0 3.4 0.7
Since 2017Away 3.90 1.32 161.2 11 12 3 9.6 3.9 1.1
2019Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Home 2.66 1.32 64.1 3 2 2 8.8 4.1 0.4
2018Away 3.64 1.38 54.1 5 4 3 8.9 5.1 0.3
2017Home 3.23 1.14 97.2 6 3 0 9.1 2.9 0.8
2017Away 4.02 1.30 107.1 6 8 0 9.9 3.3 1.5
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Stat Review
How does Carlos Martinez compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
93.6 mph
Strand %
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Those pesky homers. In 2017, Martinez whiffed more and walked fewer than the previous season, in fact setting a career high in strikeout percent (25.3). More flyballs and a spike in HR/FB resulted in a home run rate nearly double his career mark. Not much changed with pitch repertoire, but like many groundball pitchers, Martinez was victimized by the league-wide movement toward uppercut swings. Despite the additional homers, Martinez joined the 200-inning club for the first time. Being allowed to pitch into the seventh is important in today's landscape. If there's a concern, it's durability, though consecutive seasons with more than 30 starts should assuage those fears. Still just 26, there's another step for Martinez if he combats the increase in homers along with lowering his just-above-league-average walk rate (3.1 BB/9). A high WHIP keeps Martinez from the elite, but he still profiles as a fantasy ace. Oh yeah, ignore last season's low win total, as Martinez was a victim of low run support.
Yet again, Martinez dazzled on the mound for St. Louis. He finished the year with a 16-9 record to go along with a 3.04 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. Martinez managed to keep batters guessing at the plate, as he threw his 95 mph fastball just 58 percent of the time and regularly mixed in a slider, changeup, and curveball. He also continued forcing batters to hit grounders and recorded a GB/FB identical to 2015's mark of 2.49, which resulted in a HR/9 of just 0.69 and forcing 33 batters to ground into double plays, the second most in the league. Although he limited batters to a .233 batting average, a lack of control was a byproduct of his pitch variety and resulted in a walk rate that was nearly nine percent. His ERA likely will regress to a higher figure, but fortunately for the club and fantasy owners, Martinez will be only 25 years old when the 2017 campaign begins, so he still has time to further refine his arsenal and move into the ace conversation.
Martinez turned in a terrific 2015 in his first full year in the rotation, posting a 3.01 ERA and 1.29 WHIP while striking out 184 in 179.2 innings pitched as a 23-year-old. Martinez had his season cut short a couple weeks early due to a shoulder strain but should be fine for the spring, without the added pressure of competing for a rotation spot. His FIP of 3.21 and BABIP of .318 indicate that his 2015 numbers are for real. Martinez could be the Cardinals ace-in-waiting and at just 24 years old will likely slot in to the second or third spot in the rotation to start the season. He features a fastball that can approach 100 mph and terrific secondary stuff that should make a 200-plus strikeout campaign in 2016 a strong likelihood. He'll be a popular name on draft day as someone pegged to take another big step forward.
One of the Cardinals' best young flamethrowers, Martinez was extremely impressive as a starter last spring but the Cardinals opted to move him to the bullpen to start the season, where he stayed for the most part, making just seven spot starts versus a whopping 50 relief appearances. Martinez made it known several times that he would prefer to be a starter but that he would do whatever the teams asks of him, and it appears the Cardinals view him as their setup man moving forward into 2015. Martinez has probably pitched better as a starter but certainly has the stuff to work in the late innings for St. Louis. Perhaps the inconsistency of roles, moving from the bullpen to the rotation and back again several times didn't help the 23-year-old's numbers in 2014. Whatever his role may be going into 2015, he's still worth a spot on most fantasy rosters as he has enormous talent and potential.
Martinez was never given an extended look in any role until September when he really started to display just how talented he is. The 22-year-old struck out nearly a batter per inning, a stat that was trending up when the season came to a close. Scouts are split on whether Martinez will be a late-inning bullpen arm or a starter at this point but it looks as though he will have a chance to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation during spring training as the Cards attempt to maximize his value. Martinez figures to be a part of the Cardinals' pitching staff in 2014, where his extremely valuable skill set merits consideration regardless of his role on Opening Day.
Martinez handled the promotion to Double-A Springfield well, striking out 58 and walking 22 in 71.1 innings. Overall his walk rate was cut in half from its poor mark in 2011, as Martinez crept closer and closer to his big-league debut. That time could come in 2013, when Martinez will be just 21 years old. If the walk rate continues to improve, this could be a star in the making as he's considered by some to be the best pitching prospect in a rich St. Louis farm system.
For some reason, no one talks about the Cardinals having the best young pitching prospects, but with Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins and Martinez not far away from joining Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia, St. Louis could have the best rotation in the bigs in five years. Martinez just turned 20, and while his command still needs a lot of work, his strikeout rate and home-run rate were both outstanding in his first year pitching in North America. If he gets his walk rate down, we could be looking at an ace, but he's still a few years away.
More Fantasy News
Decision on role coming soon
PSt. Louis Cardinals
March 13, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) will initiate a throwing program Thursday, Jenifer Langosch of reports.
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Out at least until May
PSt. Louis Cardinals
March 12, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) could join the big-league rotation in May or June, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
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Nearing return to throwing
PSt. Louis Cardinals
March 8, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) could resume throwing in 5-to-7 days, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
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Rehab delayed by one week
PSt. Louis Cardinals
February 26, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) had a PRP injection and won't be re-evaluated until March 12, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
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Spotted with sling
PSt. Louis Cardinals
February 26, 2019
Martinez (shoulder) was spotted at camp Tuesday with his right arm in a sling, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
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