This past Sunday was just another example of the work St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez is putting in this off-season to return from the shoulder strain that ended his 2015 season.

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On his Instagram account, Martinez posted a video on of himself doing repping out 315lb squats.

It’s part of the overall training Martinez has been doing in Jupiter, Florida this off-season.

Sharing that he “felt good in my hometown” during previous off-seasons, Martinez acknowledged that being able to workout with the team staff was helping him.

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16-1-18 Carlos Martinez“I think I have 90%,” said Martinez at the Winter Warm-Up, assuring that he “would be better in Spring Training.”

Would that equate for him being able to make the jump from the 29 starts and 179.2 innings pitched to 200 innings in 2016?

“It’s hard for me because I never threw too many innings,” he said. “I’m just preparing my mind and my arm and just go to compete. I know it’s a long season and will just keep going–go to compete.”

Performance on the field aside, the media session with Martinez was also big for a different reason–it marked the first time the Cardinals hurler handled such an event on his own. Jhonny Peralta stood nearby if needed, but Carlos answered all of the questions himself, in English.

“I try every day to learn a couple of words,” stated Martinez. “That’s why I’m here right now, just try to speak a lot with my teammates, with Mike, with everybody to learn some words.”

“I quiz him every day,” confirmed a proud Mike Matheny. “I do something kind of challenging him throughout the season. And he is constantly doing some sort of study of the English language. It’s obviously working for him well. I think that’s a step for him to continue to try to do these. It’s not easy. They ask me to do them in Spanish, and I stumble through it. It’s tough to do. But I think he’s becoming much more comfortable with it, and I think he’s going to continue to improve on it, too, as he opens up to the challenge of doing this on a consistent basis.”

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