Link-O-Rama: A-Rod and K-Hud

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* People has all kinds of tidbits
on Alex Rodriguez’s relationship with Kate Hudson, which the magazine
calls “somewhat serious.” Also of note is that “Hudson followed
Rodriguez on the road late last month to Dallas” and the couple “worked
out together in the fitness center” of the team hotel.

If by some miracle Hudson ever makes a decent movie again–seriously, check out her resume since Almost Famous–the
Hollywood media will no doubt start buzzing with talk of
performance-enhancing drugs. Does human growth hormone help you act?

* Joe Mauer was the best player in baseball last month, hitting .414 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 28 games, and started June by going 3-for-3 with a homer last night. He’s now one homer shy of tying his career-high.

* Rick Porcello’s five-start winning streak was snapped last night, so Rickmania! will have to wait.

* J.C. Romero has rejoined the Phillies’ bullpen after serving his 50-game suspension.

* Barry Bonds may have stumbled upon a new career.

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.