Martinez impresses yet again in bid for final rotation spot -

Martinez impresses yet again in bid for final rotation spot

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

JUPITER, Fla. -- The competition isn't over yet. Joe Kelly will have more to say about it before this is all said and done, but he's going to have a heck of a time matching what Carlos Martinez did Wednesday.

5.1 innings of giving up just one run on three hits while striking out four against one walk.  Not a bad line for someone trying to convince his coaches he should be in the starting rotation.

The 22-year-old has a 1.76 ERA in Grapefruit League play.

"[I'm] just going out there everyday trying to do [my] work," Martinez said through translator Tony Ferreira of the Cardinals baseball operations department. "[I] do everything [I] can for the team and be positive and get [my] work done."

"When you're making pitches and rolling you're not thinking too much about the results as much as the process," Mike Matheny said. "That's something we talk about and I think he naturally does that.  [Martinez] thrives on the competition and not so much what's on the periphery."

Matheny won't say whether Martinez will get another start this spring because we're getting awfully close to the end of camp. But it would be a shock to say the least if he didn't. 

The manager did say Martinez is a much more well-rounded pitcher this season, however. He says the young fireballer used to try and blow the ball by hitters with his big fastball. But now he's using his off-speed pitches more often.

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