Indians waive former top-10 pick Jeremy Sowers

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Once upon a time Jeremy Sowers was considered a big part of the Indians’ long-term plans, as the former sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft breezed through the minors and went 7-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts as a 23-year-old rookie in 2006.
Unfortunately he’s been a mess ever since, posting ERAs of 6.42, 5.58, and 5.25 while splitting the past three seasons between Cleveland’s rotation and Triple-A, and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians have placed him on waivers.
Despite being a top-10 pick Sowers never had a particularly high ceiling, but he was billed as an MLB-ready middle-of-the-rotation starter with “polish” and “command” coming out of Vanderbilt. Instead he’s turned out to be merely a soft-tossing southpaw with a high-80s fastball, amazingly hittable changeup, mediocre control, and non-existent strikeout rate.
In the three years since his promising debut Sowers has gone 11-26 with a 5.63 ERA and .291 opponents’ batting average in 312 innings, which along with underwhelming raw stuff is why the Indians were willing to cut a former top-10 pick loose before his 27th birthday. And why he may go unclaimed on waivers and remain in the organization after losing his spot on the 40-man roster.

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.