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Martinez to make spring debut Saturday

Righty primed to lead Cardinals rotation in 2018; Jose Martinez, Carpenter dealing with injuries
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carlos Martinez will make his first Grapefruit League start Saturday when the Cardinals visit the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for a 12:10 p.m. CT game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Martinez was second on the team last season with 32 starts, behind Lance Lynn. Now the 26-year-old right-hander steps into the spotlight as the Cardinals' workhorse.

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carlos Martinez will make his first Grapefruit League start Saturday when the Cardinals visit the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for a 12:10 p.m. CT game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Martinez was second on the team last season with 32 starts, behind Lance Lynn. Now the 26-year-old right-hander steps into the spotlight as the Cardinals' workhorse.

Cardinals Spring Training information

How many starts will Martinez get this spring? That's a question that will be determined based partly on Sunday's outing.

"It depends on how each one feels, and then right at the end too there's something we do on the big field or just something nice and easy on the back side," Matheny said.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Martinez playing through quad issue

First baseman Jose Martinez is hoping a left quad injury doesn't slow the momentum he built at the end of last season.

"We'll keep an eye on him," Matheny said. "He had a little quad thing late in winter ball that we're just trying to stay on top of. We've been monitoring the intensity knowing that any of the guys that played any kind of winter ball at all; they're ahead at some level."

So far, Martinez hasn't displayed any ill effects from the injury.

"We watched Jose take his at-bats [Tuesday] -- you could tell the timing was already right," Matheny said. "That's a guy that can hit. I think he looks good. Everything looks just as we'd hoped."

Martinez hit .345 last September, with four home runs and five doubles in 84 at-bats.

"How he ended last year, it's hard to deny the value he could bring a team," Matheny said.

Carpenter continues to nurse bad back

For the second consecutive day, first baseman Matt Carpenter was scheduled to take live batting practice, but held off because of back muscle tightness.

Carpenter came into camp with the back issue, which has opened the door for Luke Voit to see some playing time. In 2017, his rookie season, the right-handed-hitting Voit batted .246 with four home runs and 18 RBIs over 62 games.

Video: CHC@STL: Voit cranks solo HR to straightaway center

"We've got probably three guys there, where normally you'd have [fewer]," Matheny said. "First base always seems like there's a lot of opportunity.

"I think you could potentially even see some Patrick Wisdom over there, from time to time, another guy just so we're not having every one of these guys going full games back-to-back. So there will be some opportunity."

Wisdom is a non-roster invitee who has spent the last six seasons in the Minor Leagues. He hit 31 home runs for Triple-A Memphis last season while slashing .243/.310/.507/.817.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Carlos Martinez, Jose Martinez, Luke Voit, Patrick Wisdom