8/1/2014 9:53 P.M. ET
Cardinals option Martinez to Memphis
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- Needing to clear room on the roster for Justin Masterson, the Cardinals pared their list of relievers to seven by optioning right-hander Carlos Martinez to Triple-A on Friday. While with Memphis, Martinez will pitch out of the rotation.
This will be Martinez's first return to the Minors since 2013; the move is designed to get him feeling comfortable off the mound again. Martinez has bounced around in various roles this season, beginning as a setup man, moving into a middle relief role and then plugging a rotation vacancy.
He struggled as a starter, and with the Cardinals' recent Trade Deadline acquisitions, he was no longer needed in the rotation.
"He needs to pitch, and he needs to get some things sorted out, some consistency," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think there is another level there for him, and that was the message given to him. It's more on the mental side, the preparation side and obviously the execution, which is the bottom line. He looks close, and we all see the stuff. The stuff is tremendous. He's got a competitor's heart, and we like the way he goes about it, but all in all, it comes down to making good pitches in big situations."
Martinez had a 4.74 ERA and 1.493 WHIP over 68 1/3 innings with the Cardinals this season. He walked 31 and struck out 64. By keeping him stretched out as a starter in Memphis, the Cardinals will have flexibility in how they use him later in the season. He is certain to be a September callup if he's not needed before then.
"I think the reason we want him starting in Memphis is that he needs to get consistent work," general manager John Mozeliak said. "That's the easiest way to manage that down there. As far as his usage in the big leagues when he returns, it will probably be by need. But if the rotation is working like we hope, then probably the opportunity would be in the bullpen."
Cards shuffle rotation to accommodate newcomers
ST. LOUIS -- New Cardinals Justin Masterson and John Lackey will make their organizational debuts in starts against the Brewers this weekend, the club announced on Friday.
The Cardinals chose to stick with Masterson as Saturday's starter and will push Lance Lynn's next start back in order to slot Lackey in on Sunday. Lackey hasn't pitched since last Saturday, and that layoff is one reason why the Cardinals didn't want to further delay his return to the mound. Like Lackey, Masterson will also be pitching on seven days' rest.
Lynn's recent workload and the schedule of opponents also played into the decision to align the rotation as such. Had Lackey not pitched against Milwaukee, he would have been taking the mound against the Red Sox next week.
"We've worked Lance pretty good," manager Mike Matheny said. "You look at his pitch count over his last several starts, I don't think [the extra rest] is going to hurt him. You also take into consideration, too, [Lackey] pitching against his former team. Not that that's a hindrance as much as the other two factors. We have an opportunity to get him in there as quick as we can, get him acclimated to this stadium, this staff and this fan base. I think it's a good decision."
As things stand, Lynn will start the series opener against Boston. Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright will also pitch in that series.
Lackey to pitch through rest of contract
ST. LOUIS -- Though he'll be doing so at the Major League minimum, John Lackey is "absolutely" going to honor the remainder of his contract and pitch for the Cardinals in 2015.
The guaranteed portion of the five-year, $82.5 million deal that Lackey signed with the Red Sox in 2009 is set to expire at the end of the season. Written into the contract, though, was a club-friendly option that triggered because he missed extensive time with an elbow injury. It was included as protection for the Red Sox, who knew the right-hander had a pre-existing issue with his elbow.
As a result the Cardinals can retain Lackey next season for a salary that should be just a bit over $500,000. There were reports earlier this season that Lackey would consider retiring if that club option wasn't nullified with an extension. Upon reporting to Busch Stadium on Friday, he said that wouldn't be the case.
"I'm absolutely going to [pitch]," Lackey said. "As long as I stay healthy, I'm going to."
The fact that he was dealt plays a role in that decision.
"Obviously, it was case by case," he said. "It would have been a harder decision other places, for sure, but this is definitely somewhere I wanted to be, and I'm excited about it."
Metal detectors to be used at Gate 4 of Busch Stadium
ST. LOUIS -- Beginning next week, fans entering Busch Stadium through Gate 4 will be required to walk through metal detectors before settling into their seats. It is the start of a slow security rollout that will eventually conclude with the organization installing metal detectors at every entrance.
Major League Baseball announced earlier this year that by 2015, all stadiums must be equipped to screen fans for weapons and metal. The Cardinals are going to take their first trial run during the series against the Red Sox by activating six to eight metal detectors.
The Cardinals hope that by operating the detectors at only one gate right now, fans will not need to allow much extra time to enter the stadium.
"From the fan standpoint, we'll certainly ask for their patience as we go through that," said Joe Abernathy, vice president of stadium operations. "It shouldn't be as drastic as going to the airport. We just want to let everybody know that this is an ongoing unfortunate trend that is out there in sports facilities. For us to provide that level of safety that we would like to provide everybody, we have to do that."
Unlike at the airport, fans will not need to remove belts, shoes, jewelry, jackets, coins or wallets. Cell phones, cameras, sunglasses cases, keys and other large metal objects will need to be taken out of pockets.
The Cardinals have chosen to use metal detectors instead of hand-held detectors because they feel it will expedite the process.
"We figure with the number of events that we have and here with the Cardinals, the number of people we put through here at 40,000 a night, then we would worry about backing up the gates," Abernathy said. "We feel the best way to do that in our situation is through walk-through metal detectors."
The Cardinals will evaluate how smoothly the process goes at Gate 4 for several games before determining whether additional metal detectors will be in place before the end of this season. For those who cannot or choose not to proceed through the metal detectors, wands will be used.
• The Cardinals replenished their bench on Friday by recalling outfielder Shane Robinson from Triple-A. General manager John Mozeliak suggested that the Cardinals did not consider Stephen Piscotty for the promotion because he's not yet on the 40-man roster and won't have to be placed on it this fall. As for considering Randal Grichuk, the Cardinals currently value the everyday at-bats Grichuk can continue to get with Memphis.
In 31 games with the Cardinals this season, Robinson has hit .140 with two RBIs. He was batting .304 in 53 Triple-A games.
• Red Sox manager John Farrell has announced that Joe Kelly will make his Boston debut when the Red Sox visit St. Louis next week. Kelly and Allen Craig were traded to the Red Sox in Thursday's deal for Lackey.
• Jon Jay was out of the lineup for the third straight day on Friday as he deals with soreness in his left wrist, which has been bothering him since a check swing in San Diego. Peter Bourjos has started in Jay's place each of the last three days.
• Reliever Pat Neshek has given his uniform number (41) to Lackey, who has worn that number for much of his career. Lackey said he will likely present Neshek with a gift -- "Might be a watch or something" -- as a sign of gratitude. Neshek has taken No. 37, which had been the number of first-base coach Chris Maloney, who will now sport No. 77. Masterson has been assigned No. 63.
• Tickets for the 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony went on sale on Friday and can be purchased for $18 at www.cardinals.com/hof. The ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. CT on Aug. 16 inside Fox Sports Midwest Live! at Ballpark Village. Jim Edmonds, Marty Marion, Willie McGee and Mike Shannon are slated to be inducted.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.