Player 1: Starts 4 | Record 1-0 | Innings 15.1 | WHIP 0.717 | SO 9 | BB 3 | ERA 1.76
Player 2: Starts 3 | Record 1-1 | Innings 9.1 | WHIP 1.821 | SO 6 | BB 4 | ERA 7.71
Those are your two candidates for the 5th spot in the Cardinals rotation. Wainwright (1) Wacha (2) Miller (3) and Lynn (4) are set. Jamie Garcia has been in injury limbo for weeks and will start the season on the DL. And Carlos Martinez and Joe Kelly are fighting for the the last spot.
Which do you prefer?
If you said player 1, then you chose Carlos Martinez. Who pitched 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday and only gave up 3 hits, 1 run and 1 walk. Even though the Twins didn't have their optimal line-up in, Martinez looked good to great and laid claim to the 5th starter role.
If you said player 2, then you're rooting for Joe Kelly and his next (final) spring training start. He also worked 5 1/3 innings in his last start giving up 4 hits and 1 runs. As a bonus, he had 3 hits.
Conventional wisdom tells us it's going to have to be a dominant start for Kelly to stay in the rotation. And even then, it's probably not enough. The Cardinals have stretched Martinez out and it's believed that Joe Kelly is much more able to transition to the pen and then back to the rotation if another injury happens in the future.
The rotation and bullpen are taking shape for the Cardinals. We must be getting close to Opening Day.
Now, The Friday Links…
Kid with water wings can't eat cookie. LINK HERE
Protest prank. LINK HERE
Pepsi Max marketing win. LINK HERE
The internet. LINK HERE
How we'd mechanic. LINK HERE
Snakes in a cab. LINK HERE
That's it. That's the week. As a side programming note, Cards Diaspora is getting a back-end upgrade in the next couple of weeks to improve load times and the mobile experience. We don't expect any downtime (or for you to care that much), but a heads up in case you notice pages loading faster. Enjoy your March Madness.