PITTSBURGH -- Carlos Martinez, who reported to Spring Training six weeks late because of visa issues, progressed quickly enough in extended spring training to be ready to make his season debut Thursday. Martinez joined the Double-A Springfield team Monday in advance of that start, which will come at Arkansas.
John Vuch, the Cardinals' director of Minor League operations, said that when Martinez was finally cleared to report to Jupiter, Fla., for Spring Training that the organization was pleased to see that he was further along in his throwing program than expected. Martinez, who opened the year ranked by MLB.com as the organization's third-best prospect, had been working through that program while in a holding pattern in the Dominican Republic.
While the visa delays kept Martinez from participating in his first Major League camp, it turns out that he will only miss two weeks of the Minor League season. Martinez closed his 2012 season with Springfield, where he went 4-3 with a 2.90 ERA in 15 games (14 starts).
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.