Martinez finally cleared to join Minors camp

Martinez finally cleared to join Minors camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- More than six weeks after the pitchers and catchers Spring Training report date, right-hander Carlos Martinez is finally cleared to travel to Jupiter and kick off his preparation for the 2013 season.

Martinez had his work visa approved by the Dominican Republic this week, which means he will arrive in Florida in time to briefly participate in Minor League camp, which ends on Monday. The 21-year-old right-hander, who is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Cardinals' system, was slated to participate in his first Major League Spring Training this year until visa troubles stranded him at home.

Martinez has been on a throwing program in the Dominican Republic, but he will begin the season in extended spring training to build up his arm strength. The Cardinals will get a better gauge on how long Martinez's season will be delayed after they watch him throw.

Martinez ended the 2012 season in Double-A, where he posted a 2.90 ERA and held opponents to a .237 batting average in 15 games (14 starts).

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.