Saturday, July 21, 2018


When 2018 fantasy baseball drafts rolled around this past spring, one prominently named starting pitcher that I told you all to avoid despite coming off another decent year in 2017 was St. Louis Cardinals ace Carlos Martinez.  While no one would question Martinez' 200-K chops, I did have some very big reservations about investing in him and for a number of key reasons.  The first one (which I have spoken often about) centered on Martinez' past with shoulder trouble and any issues with that socket tends to be more serious for a pitcher than anything to do with an elbow.  Shoulder trouble also tends to come back more than once and historically steals mph from a fastball and can greatly erode stuff.  In addition, Martinez also was an issue for me due to his yearly poor control which manifests itself in annually high walk rates.  Combine the ill health with the ugly control and I was in no rush to pay the fantasy baseball ace cost for Martinez at the draft table.

Fast forward to present day and Martinez has just been placed on the DL once again, with this time being for a strained oblique that is expected to keep him out past the minimum 10 days.  While Martinez has battled poor health during the first half of the season, he also has not pitched as well as his fantasy baseball owners expected as he went into Saturday's action with the following numbers:

3.39 ERA
1.39 WHIP
8.37 K/9
4.52 BB/9
0.47 HR/9
.293 BABIP

While on the surface Martinez' 3.39 ERA is not terrible by any means, his 1.39 WHIP is horrendous and his 4.52 BB/9 a downright joke.  Martinez has really outdid himself with the pathetic walk rate this season and his strikeouts being down sharply (9.35 K.9 in 2017) is also a major red flag.  A clear issue is that Martinez is leaking velocity this season and has been the last few seasons.  After averaging a tremendous 97.0 on his fastball in 2016, Martinez dipped to 96.7 a year ago and now down to 95.5 this season.  That marks three straight seasons of a drop there and that my friends is a clear trend.  Add in the ugly health and Martinez has been a decent bust relative to the price his fantasy baseball owners paid for him this spring.  Which of course is no shock here since I told you as much previously back in March.  So all in all, Martinez has been spot on in terms of my projection for him and the troubles that arrived once his name was added to your roster.  So let this be a lesson learned that Martinez is in fact one of the more overrated pitchers in today's game. 

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