Notes: C-Mart working to return as a starter

August 25th, 2020

The Cardinals intend to accommodate ’s strong desire to return to the club as a starting pitcher. When he’ll be physically ready to do that is what the club is working through.

On Monday, Martínez took a step in that direction by throwing what manager Mike Shildt called a “low-intensity live batting practice.” That was followed by a clarifying conversation between the two. He might be able to return sooner in a relief role, but that’s not a consideration at this point.

“Carlos wants to start, and I understand that, and I appreciate that,” Shildt said. "Ultimately, we're going to perform with guys that have their heart in a certain position.

“And he’s expressed interest in starting, and we hear what he's saying. And that's probably going to take a couple weeks to figure out a way to get him back in that rotation. So we got to plan accordingly, and we'll put it in play, and we'll see when it winds up where he can get back on the field for us.”

Martínez’s bullpen session was the next step in his return from the COVID-19 injured list. His only appearance this season was July 28, when he threw 72 pitches at Minnesota.

Martínez was cleared to resume workouts last week after suffering symptoms of the virus.

“It's gonna take longer for him to just get back to being able to handle the load of what we would expect the starter to handle,” Shildt said. “And candidly, we can't stay in a mode where we can just keep building guys up on the fly.”

Injury updates
Reliever threw a side session on Monday, and Shildt said his next step would be another side session or live batting practice on Thursday. Reliever could throw a live BP session on Tuesday.

“We’ll see how they recover,” Shildt said, “and based on what that looks like, we'll see how that activation takes place. We’ll continue to work on the timeline.”

Teaming up for a good cause
The Cardinals and Royals are partnering to raise $15,000 for each city’s food bank. That amount would pay for around 100,000 meals for the St. Louis Area Foodbank and Kansas City’s Harvesters-The Community Food Network combined. Details are at

Worth noting
• The Cardinals entered Monday four games into an 11-day, 12-game homestand. The last time the Cardinals played at least 12 consecutive home games without an off-day was 2002, when they played 13.

• Outfielder Harrison Bader is the first Cardinal to homer in consecutive games this season and the first to do it from the No. 9 spot in the batting order since Paul DeJong in 2017.