As first reported by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have decided to move Shelby Miller back into the starting rotation and Carlos Martinez to the bullpen for their upcoming three-game weekend series at Wrigley Field. Miller will start Saturday afternoon against the Cubs.
Martinez has impressive raw stuff and big-time upside, but the 22-year-old right-hander wasn’t consistent enough or efficient enough in his month or so as a starter. He lasted just four innings in each of his last two outings and owns a 4.57 ERA in 67 total frames this season.
St. Louis is known to be in the market for a starting pitcher with the July 31 trade deadline approaching, so both Martinez and Miller could be in the bullpen by August.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.