Chris Carpenter will miss his scheduled start Monday and has left Cardinals camp to get a second opinion on his injured neck, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Strauss writes that the Cardinals have “remained intentionally vague about Carpenter’s timetable after initially suggesting he would miss one Grapefruit League start.”
Carpenter finally admitted yesterday that he’s had neck soreness for nearly a week, but no one has offered any further details about the specifics of the injury. Whatever the case, the 36-year-old former Cy Young winner’s status for Opening Day is now very much in question.
UPDATE: Strauss has more details now, including the fact that Carpenter has been tested for nerve problems, and paints a picture of the Cardinals being plenty worried about the situation.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.