On Saturday it was announced that St. Louis Cardinals’ starting pitcher Carlos Martinez would miss the rest of the season, including postseason, with a shoulder strain. The injury came up during Martinez’s Friday start against the Milwaukee Brewers. After making the first pitch to Adam Lind, Milwaukee’s third batter, Martinez flinched and was subsequently taken out of the game after a meeting on the mound with team trainers and manager Mike Matheny. Martinez had only thrown seven pitches. After the game, the Cardinals’ starter first said that he did not think the injury was serious and added that he felt he would be able to make his next start. Martinez later said that the shoulder first felt weak during his last start against the Chicago Cubs, but he did not inform the medical staff and he thought he could pitch through the injury. “I tried to throw today and knew it didn’t feel completely right, but I thought I could pitch through it,” Martinez said. “After I threw the first pitch, I knew there was something wrong.”
Something wrong indeed, as Martinez, who consistently hits the upper 90’s with his fastball, hit a mere 88 miles per hour with his first pitch of the game. The loss of the 24-year-old right hander is a big blow to the Cardinals pitching staff, as Martinez was an All-Star in his first year as a starter, and had a 14-7 record with a 3.01 ERA going into Friday’s contest. The injury to Martinez comes right on the heels of catcher Yadier Molina‘s thumb injury, and the Cardinals are now looking at an October without two key pieces of their team.
The silver lining for the Cardinals, and their fans, is that Martinez’s injury will not require surgery and he is expected to make a full recovery, well in time for 2016 Spring Training. Nevertheless, without Martinez the Cardinals are now looking at a postseason rotation of John Lackey, Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn.