'Nasty' Martinez takes the mound for Cardinals

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 2:31 am •  Published: February 28, 2014

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Before joining the Cardinals in the offseason, Jhonny Peralta had only heard about Carlos Martinez's live arm.

Getting a firsthand look this spring has made a much bigger impression.

"He's nasty," Peralta said. "He's really good. His fastball has really good, heavy sink. It's hard to hit him."

Peralta, an 11-year veteran, isn't alone in that assessment.

"It's pretty universal," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Every time he walks off the mound and (our hitters) walk out of the cage, it's, 'Wow! That stuff looked good from the field, but I didn't realize up close what it looked like.'"

Martinez will get the ball on Friday when the Cardinals open their Grapefruit League schedule against Miami, beginning a road that they hope will lead back to the World Series. When Martinez walks to the mound he will be trying to put the events of a trying week behind him.

The 22-year-old Martinez made news this week when a website published the favorite list from his Twitter account, which contained pornographic images and links to adult websites. General manager John Mozeliak indicated that the club thought hackers were at least partially responsible for the content and Martinez apologized.

"I want to acknowledge fault for what happened," Martinez said through an interpreter. "That was my responsibility. I want to apologize to the fans, the organization. I didn't mean to cause a distraction. Obviously, it's something that you don't want to go through, but I accept responsibility, and I'm ready to move on and focus on baseball."

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