Carlos Martinez, the pitcher formerly known as Carlos Matias who received a $1.5 million contract to join the St. Louis Cardinals but couldn't leave the Dominican Republic due to visa problems, has finally cleared them up. With his new name and his new visa, the "big hurdle" is now clear for the teenager with the 97 mph fastball.
In 12 starts with the Cardinals' affiliate in the Dominican Summer League, Matias/Martinez struck out 78 batters in 59 innings, walking 14 batters and allowing just 28 hits for an ERA of 0.76. He'll (apparently) be 19 in 2010, when the Cardinals will need to figure out whether he's ready for full-season ball in the American minors.
Future Redbirds has more information from the time of Martinez's signing.