6/15/2014 3:14 P.M. ET
Chosen for spot start, Martinez takes news in stride
By Alex Halsted / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was expecting more than the answer Carlos Martinez presented.
The 22-year-old right-hander moved through the Cardinals' system as a starting pitcher, but in parts of two seasons in the Majors, his role has been an arm out of the bullpen with a fastball that can touch triple digits.
Out of necessity, with starter Adam Wainwright scratched from his Monday start due to tendinitis, Martinez's opportunity has come. Matheny called his young pitcher into his office and delivered the news that he'd be taking the hill vs. the Mets.
"That's fine," Martinez told his manager in Spanish.
"I made him redo that," Matheny said with a laugh. "I told him he gets a do-over."
"I'm going to tell you all over again and you get to give me a different answer," Matheny told Martinez.
Martinez smiled, hugged his manager and gave the answer he was first expecting.
"I'm not the best at it, but I expect these guys to be better than me at showing emotion," Matheny said. "Just like all of these guys, they want to put up a bravado front. He said he was very excited. He's a hugger, a lot like Waino. So I don't hold back on that."
Martinez made 16 starts between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, posting a 2.49 ERA. He made one start in the Majors, going 4 2/3 innings while allowing four runs in a loss last August. His other 50 appearances have been out of the bullpen.
This season, Martinez has had ups and downs, dominating the opposition in some stretches and struggling to record outs in others. The Cardinals have chalked it up to inconsistency from inexperience.
"I don't think that stuff really gets into his head," Matheny said. "He's so -- it's not an arrogance -- it's just a genuine confidence that, 'OK, you guys gave me a chance. You're going to see this.' That's part of, I believe, the beauty of Carlos' makeup."
Martinez has posted a 4.67 ERA in 34 2/3 innings this season. The Cardinals looked at other options in the Minors to fill Monday's void, but Martinez's ability to be stretched out helped the decision. He threw 47 pitches over 2 2/3 innings on June 1 when the team needed help.
"We told him to keep working, and he was going to get a chance," Matheny said. "He still has a big role for us in the bullpen, but this is an opportunity that is also a necessity. We need somebody to step up and be able to take this start for Adam. We believe Carlos can do a good job of that."
Martinez is expected to get between 50 and 60 pitches to work with Monday. The Cardinals added Nick Greenwood to the roster Sunday to bolster the bullpen. Greenwood has posted a 2.61 ERA in 41 1/3 innings this season at Triple-A Memphis.
Greenwood summoned to provide bullpen depth
ST. LOUIS -- It took a long late-night drive, but Nick Greenwood has arrived in the big leagues.
The 26-year-old left-hander was promoted from Triple-A Memphis on Saturday night to boost the Cardinals' bullpen to 13 pitchers with reliever Carlos Martinez making a spot start in place of Adam Wainwright on Monday night.
After expecting to pitch in relief of Tyler Lyons, who was making a rehab start with Memphis, Greenwood's night quickly changed.
"About a half hour before game time, [manager Ron Warner] came up to me and told me to just hang in the dugout, because I think the plan was to pitch on Saturday to back up Lyons," Greenwood said. "Right before game time, he called me into the office and just told me I was coming up here."
The Cardinals expect to potentially need Greenwood out of the bullpen Monday with Martinez limited to 50-60 pitches. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 41 1/3 innings this season with Memphis.
Greenwood was acquired in 2010 by the Cardinals in a three-team trade that brought Jake Westbrook from the Indians and sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres. Greenwood came from the Padres to the Cardinals in the deal.
To make room for Greenwood, the Cardinals optioned outfielder Randal Grichuk to Triple-A, just two days removed from demoting Oscar Taveras.
Grichuk, in his second stint with the club this season, was hitting .136 in 19 games. The team wants both Grichuk and Taveras to get consistent at-bats in Triple-A, general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday.
After packing his bags at 7:15 p.m. CT and picking up a rental car, Greenwood began his drive to St. Louis. The destination that followed, with a possible Major Leauge debut, was worth it.
"It was a good four-hour drive," Greenwood said.
Mozeliak hoping injured pitchers mend quickly
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that the idea of having 13 pitchers in the long term doesn't exactly thrill him.
The Cardinals added reliever Nick Greenwood to the roster to help a bullpen that may have to log additional innings Monday with Adam Wainwright scratched from his scheduled start.
The decision on who might fill out the bullpen won't get any easier when Wainwright returns to the rotation Saturday, and the Cardinals may opt to return to 12 pitchers.
Tyler Lyons, who hasn't pitched since May 12 due to a left shoulder stain, made a rehab appearance at Triple-A Memphis on Saturday, lasting 2 2/3 innings while allowing one run on two hits. Mozeliak said Lyons will throw a bullpen session in St. Louis in the next few days before the team makes a decision on how to proceed.
Meanwhile, Kevin Siegrist, out since May 23 with a left forearm strain, was expected to throw a bullpen Sunday and possibly go on a rehab appearance as early as Tuesday if all goes well. The list goes on with Joe Kelly, who has been sidelined since mid-April with a left hamstring strain. Mozeliak said he could return within two or three weeks.
"When you start to add all of this up," Mozeliak said, "then it becomes a little harder."
The Cardinals feel that might be a good problem to have, but the pitching staff moving forward certainly hasn't been settled.
• Catcher Yadier Molina was given Sunday's game off as a routine day of rest, but the All-Star catcher has also struggled of late. Molina was hitting .128 (6-for-47) in the last 13 games, watching his average fall from .323 to .283.
• Randy Choate became the sixth pitcher in Cardinals history to throw one pitch and record a win. Choate got Nationals center fielder Denard Span to ground out for the final out of the seventh Saturday night with the bases loaded.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.