Do the St. Louis Cardinals really need that much bullpen help that Carlos Martinez is getting stuffed in the pen, while Joe Kelly, whom I see as, well, as junior Lance Lynn, is the fifth starter? Even if the team theoretically needs that help now, April has a number of days off. Plus, Jason Motte, aka Yukon Cornelius, could be ready for a bullpen slot by the end of May.
And, if John Mozeliak really, really believes the value of an eighth-inning setup man is more important than a starter, even a No. 5, he needs to hand in the "Sabermetric Genius" badge he found in his box of CrackerJack.
True, per Strauss, this will limit Martinez' innings pitched, as the team wants and it is a case where missing Jaime Garcia hurts. But, if you want him to start later in the year, if we're past early May, then he theoretically has to go down to Memphis to get back into "starter mode." (Also, even though he pitched much less than a full year in St. Louis last year, Michael Wacha is not on an innings limit this year.)
I would rather he'd start from the start, that Kelly would be used to "spot" him on occasion early in the year to stretch out Martinez's 170-inning limit, along with "pulling" him early from some of his stasrts and we go from there.
Or, if not, I'd rather that, if Mozeliak and Mike Matheny, for some strange reason, don't want to start Martinez right
now, they send him back to Memphis, and then bring him back up.
This isn't a horrible decision. It's not a fantastic one, though. And, no, I don't totally believe Mo that this decision was the result of "healthy debate." It may have been the result of Matheny actually doing some head-scratching, but not vigorously enough to change Mo's mind, or Mo's eyeballs on Martinez's arbitration clock or whatever.
And, per Bernie Miklasz, this wasn't a real competition in the first place. Whichever one of the two, Mo or Matheny, was most pretending it was? Now, we're at last year's "Where's Shelby Miller" postseason contretemps. Once again, you have a manager and a GM who are proving themselves to simply be untrustworthy on the field of public relations with personnel decisions, at least pitching ones. And, speaking of Bernie, is this too part of the "Cardinal Way"?
And, speaking of Lance Lynn, as I've blogged before, I really wish Mo would make him part of a trade package for David Price.