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Cards call on hot prospect Martinez

2013-05-03T11:43:00Z 2013-05-06T10:22:13Z Cards call on hot prospect MartinezBy Derrick Goold dgoold@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8285 stltoday.com

MILWAUKEE • Even before hotshot prospect Carlos Martinez was able to throw a pitch for the Cardinals this spring, a team official said the righthander was capable of "pulling off" what Trevor Rosenthal did last season — leaping straight from Class AA to the majors.

It took less than five weeks for it to happen.

Martinez waited longer through a delay in his work visa than for the call to the big leagues, which came this morning.

The Cardinals optioned reliever Mitchell Boggs to Class AAA Memphis, and in a corresponding move promoted Martinez to the majors. General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the move to the Post-Dispatch this morning, and the club announced the move later in the morning.

Martinez, one of the top pitching prospects in the minors, will be used in relief. He has been assigned uniform No. 62.

Martinez, a 21-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic, was unable to participate in major-league spring training because he could not acquire the necessary work visa to travel to Florida. The Cardinals and their young righty began working on getting the visa before Christmas, but he did not receive it until late into March.

The late start to his season diminished his exposure to the big-league coaches, but it does not slow his results.

In three starts at Class AA Springfield, Martinez had nine strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. He had one walk and 11 hits allowed. Martinez sports a fastball that he can throw at 100 mph, and in his starts so far this season he has regularly pitched at 98 mph.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Martinez, the Cardinals placed shortstop Rafael Furcal on the 60-day disabled list.

Boggs had one option year remaining because of a wrinkle in a rule that did not count his 2011 assignment to the minors. Boggs was optioned in 2008, 2009, and then again in 2011. But because his move to Class AAA Memphis in 2011 was less than 20 days he did not lose any major-league service time and the club did not have the spend an option.

More here throughout the day on the Cardinal Beat blog at STLtoday.com.

Derrick Goold covers the Cardinals and Major League Baseball for The Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @dgoold or on Facebook at Facebook.com/BirdLandPD

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Baseball writers Derrick Goold and Rick Hummel cover the Cardinals for the Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com. They'll provide daily Cardinals updates here, from the start of spring training through the end of the season and beyond.

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