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Prospect Martinez remains delayed by visa issues


JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals are nearly a week into Spring Training, and right-hander Carlos Martinez remains a no-show due to visa issues restricting him from leaving the Dominican Republic. General manager John Mozeliak said that the club has still not been given any indication on when to anticipate his arrival.

Martinez's absence has prohibited him from taking advantage of working alongside pitchers from the Cardinals' Major League roster. The Cardinals had invited the 21-year-old rising prospect to big league camp for that type of exposure.

However, with each day that passes, Martinez's window of time in Major League camp is shrinking. Though he is throwing while awaiting approval of his visa, he's now not on the same schedule as the Cardinals' pitchers who began workouts under coach supervision in Jupiter last week.

If the Cardinals determine that Martinez is too far behind, they could alter his assignment and send him immediately to Minor League camp. The organization has an early Minor League camp that begins on Saturday.

"The key is we don't want him to be injured," Mozeliak said when asked about potential scenarios for Martinez. "He's probably working out and stuff, but it's probably not the same as being here. We want to make sure that he can prepare for the season. Obviously, he was invited to Major League camp but can't get in."

After making seven high-A starts to begin the 2012 season, Martinez posted a 2.90 ERA in 15 Double-A appearances (14 starts). He was recently ranked by MLB.com as baseball's 33rd-best prospect heading into 2013.

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