Martinez begins final push to grab last open rotation spot -

Martinez begins final push to grab last open rotation spot

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

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(BaseballStL) -- Less than two weeks before the Cardinals kick off the 2014 regular season against the Reds, there is just one final decision the Cardinals need to make.  Well, technically, I suppose there's more.  The last reliever hasn't been figured out yet and it's still possible Stephen Piscotty could edge out Shane Robinson for a bench spot.

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But the only big decision left lies with the starting rotation.  It's Carlos Martinez vs Joe Kelly.  The winner gets to join Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn in the rotation.  The loser gets to join Trevor Rosenthal in the back end of the bullpen closing out games

Both candidates have two starts remaining in camp and Martinez will take one of them today against the Twins here at Roger Dean Stadium.  The 22-year old fire baller has a 1.80 ERA in three starts (10 innings).  He's struck out five thus far while walking two.  In fact, he hasn't surrendered a run since his very first inning of his first start against the Marlins.

Here's the lineup backing him today:

1) Matt Carpenter - 3B

2) Kolten Wong - 2B

3) Matt Holliday - DH

4) Allen Craig - RF

5) Yadier Molina - C

6) Jhonny Peralta - SS

7) Matt Adams - 1B

8) Peter Bourjos - CF

9) Stephen Piscotty - LF

Following Martinez in the rotation will be Randy Choate, Sam Freeman, Pat Neshek, Seth Maness, Keith Butler and Jorge Rondon.

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