Daily Notes: Carlos Martinez to Make First Major-League Start

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of the Daily Notes.

1. Carlos Martinez to Make First Major-League Start
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

Carlos Martinez to Make First Major-League Start
Right-handed St. Louis prospect Carlos Martinez, who’s split time this season as a starter in the minors and also as a member of the Cardinal bullpen, makes his first major-league start today (Thursday) at 8:15pm ET against the Los Angeles Nationals.

Regarding Carlos Martinez, Who That Is
Martinez, known at the time as Carlos Matias, was originally signed by Boston in 2009 for $160 thousand out of the Dominican. Visa issues, however, rendered that agreement moot. In the meantime, Martinez’ velocity improved, and St. Louis signed him for considerably more ($1.5 million) in 2010.

Regarding Carlos Martinez, His Prospect Status
The 21-year-old Martinez appeared on a number of notable preseason prospect lists.

Baseball America: 38.
Baseball Prospectus: 43.
Bullpen Banter: 47.
FanGraphs (Marc Hulet): 35.
Minor League Ball (John Sickels): 20.

Regarding Carlos Martinez, His Numbers
Martinez has terrific arm speed (his fastball has averaged 97.0 mph exactly this season in relief), but appears to use it — or has used it, at least — more in the service of inducing weak contact than swinging strikes. Relative to league average, for examples, his strikeout rate (22.5%) is much less impressive than his ground-ball rate (62.5%). This appears to be the case with his minor-league resume, as well: between Double- and Triple-A this season, he’s recorded a strikeout rate of about 20%, but ground-ball rates (according both to Minor League Central and StatCorner) of 50-55%.

Regarding Carlos Martinez, His Repertoire
As the PITCHf/x chart below (featuring speed and horizontal movement) reveals, Martinez has thrown four different pitches out of the bullpen: a four-seam fastball at about 95-100 mph; a two-seamer at slightly less than that; a changeup (rather infrequenly) at 84-87 mph; and a curve at around 77-82 mph.


Action Footage: Martinez’ Fastball
Here’s footage — rather blurry footage, in fact, because the author is currently visiting his father, whose connection speed isn’t — here’s footage of Carlos Martinez from his most recent major-league appearance, inducing a ground-ball against Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz by way of a 99 mph fastball:

Mart Ruiz

Action Footage: Martinez’ Fastball
Here’s Martinez doing a very similar thing — in this case, against Michael Martinez and by way of a 98 mph fastball:

Mart Mart

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
Colorado at New York NL | 12:10 ET
Jeff Manship (N/A) faces Dillon Gee (131.1 IP, 109 xFIP-, 0.5 WAR). It would be very fair to say that this game is actually “in progress” as of press time.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 6.3.

Note: the following table is entirely sortable.

Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Jeff Manship* COL 5 7 5 6 4 NYN Dillon Gee 12:10
Jose Fernandez MIA 10 2 8 7 9 PIT Gerrit Cole 12:35
Jeff Samardzija CHN 8 5 6 1 7 PHI Ethan Martin* 13:05
Donovan Hand MIL 2 4 5 5 8 SF Tim Lincecum 15:45
Max Scherzer DET 10 8 7 7 3 CLE Zach McAllister 19:05
Jon Lester BOS 5 8 5 6 3 KC Bruce Chen 20:10
Hyun-Jin Ryu LAN 6 3 8 3 12 STL Carl. Martinez* 20:15

To learn how Pitcher and Team NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.

We hoped you liked reading Daily Notes: Carlos Martinez to Make First Major-League Start by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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First Fausto Carmona becomes Roberto Hernandez, and now Carlos Matias becomes Carlos Martinez.

What next, Rubby de la Rosa becomes Henry Rodriguez???