The Morning After STL

Rick Hummel Talks Martinez’s Emergence, Heyward’s Improvements and Scruggs’ Future

Brendan Marks, Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:32:00 GMT

Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called into The Ryan Kelley Morning After on Wednesday to talk Cardinals topics as they take on the Marlins in Miami.

Text and audio of the interview can be found below.

On Carlos Martinez’s continuing to impress on the mound:

“he’s bordering on all-star type quality. the players pick five starting pitchers…i don’t know if he’ll get that vote because wacha would certainly rank ahead of him. but he’s pitched all-star quality ball whether he makes it or not.”

Why do you think he’s developed so quickly this year?

“For one he’s probably happy just to be a starter. He relieved because they needed him more there. Molina has had a lot to do with it. Settling him down when he occassionally gets out of whack. He’s learned at some point not to throw as hard as he can on every pitch. He’s just grown up a little bit more.”

On Jason Heyward’s string of impressive performances:

“I’m anxious to see…when he and (Matt) Holliday are in the line-up together. This is exactly the guy they thought they were getting from Atlanta. He’s hitting the ball hard. Hard and to all parts of the field.”

Think Xavier Scruggs has earned a longer look in the Big Leagues?

“Maybe. When Holliday comes back, somebody will have to go. He’s not really a bench player. He’s not used to doing that. And he hasn’t been much good at that on the few times they’ve had him come off the bench. In recent years, he hasn’t struck out quite as much as he did earlier. And he’s not a real accomplished first baseman or outfielder. If you can get him some time, maybe he’ll be a better bench player. I like what they’re seeing of him. Maybe there’s a way he can stay. But he’s going to have to learn how to be a bench player.”

Mark Reynolds been a good all-around player?

“If he can hit anywhere close to .250, that’s a real plus. And if Scruggs is good enough to give him a day off a week…that would be good. And also Reynolds can take a turn at third base. There’s a lot to offer there.”

Download: Rick Hummel on The Morning After