We haven’t heard much from the Erik Bedard camp this winter. After
undergoing shoulder surgery last August there have been some
wide-ranging opinions on when he’ll be ready to to pitch in the majors
again. Some say it could be as early as May, while others have
suggested it could be mid-season.
Orioles president Andy MacPhail is one of the more optimistic ones:
“Like any free-agent signing, whether it would be Erik or anybody,
they’d have to take a physical before so we could try to get a sense,”
MacPhail said. “I think our guys feel like, based on medical stuff
they’ve seen so far, it’s sooner as opposed to later.”
Of course, MacPhail traded Bedard to the Mariners in February of
2008 for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickolio and
Tony Butler. Yikes, after the Orioles swapped Sherrill for third base
prospect Josh Bell last July, this trade just keeps looking worse for
Seattle. We’re talking the potential for historically bad. Long live
Speaking of oft-injured pitchers, MacPhail requested the medical
records for free agent right-hander Ben Sheets, but never received
them. That’s probably a sign that he won’t pitch for them.
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.