If Martinez gets into early trouble, the Cardinals have the perfect man to bail him out.
The Cardinals have the ultimate X-factor in a situation like this. Alex Reyes’ ability to come save the day out of the bullpen could end up being the reason the Cardinals are able to move on to the NLDS.
Reyes is an absolute stud. Since being called up to the majors, he has dominated opposing hitters, holding them to a .184 batting average with 46 strikeouts in 40 innings, owning a 1.58 ERA. With Adam Wainwright’s decline this season, chances are that the young prospect will take over the top spot in the rotation sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, starting Carlos Martinez is the best option for the Cardinals. His ability to mow through lineups when he is on his game gives them the best upside out of anyone in the rotation. If by chance he gets into trouble early, Mike Matheny shouldn’t be hesitant at all to call on Alex Reyes from the bullpen and be confident he can keep the team in the game.
Of course, this debate doesn’t matter at all if the Cardinals aren’t able to play their way into the Wild Card game down the stretch, but hey, as fans of St. Louis Cardinal baseball, we expect them to make it happen. Considering our worst season in the last five years is resulting in a deep run for a playoff spot, we should expect it ( We are a bit spoiled aren’t we?).