Link-O-Rama: Sox prepping Beckham for 3B?

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* Gordon Beckham played primarily shortstop at Double-A, but moved to third base for his final game there and stayed at the hot corner last night in his Triple-A debut.

I’ve been assuming that the White Sox view Beckham as the long-term
answer at second base and they’ve gotten the AL’s third-worst
production from the position, but perhaps they’re more interested in
ditching third baseman Josh Fields, who’s hitting .229/.293/.314 with
poor defense.

* Chris Davis is striking out more often than any player in baseball
history and he’s hitting just .203/.259/.456 in the process, so the
Rangers are running out of patience.
Davis is batting .368 with 12 homers in 87 at-bats when he makes
contact, but he’s whiffed in an amazing 41.7 percent of his plate
appearances.

* Cecil Cooper’s job might be safe for a while longer, but the Denver Post reports that Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is “on borrowed time.”

* In case you haven’t heard, the Matt Wieters Era begins tonight in Baltimore. Based on the hype, he should have the Orioles in first place by Monday.

* After being part of umpire Todd Tichenor’s ejection-fest yesterday afternoon, Red Sox manager Terry Francona “was examined by emergency medical technicans to check on his blood pressure.”

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.