Brad Lidge was shelled for four earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning Saturday in a rehab appearance at Single-A Clearwater.
Lidge is trying to make his way back from knee and elbow issues, but was dominated by a batch of low-level minor leaguers in what can only be described as a setback. The Phillies are unlikely to activate him until he shows that he can handle himself on a minor league mound, and they surely won’t trust him with ninth-inning duties until he strings together a run of clean rehab innings.
For now, Ryan Madson will continue to close games in Philadelphia. He has one save thus far with a 3.86 ERA and 3/0 K/BB ratio in 2 1/3 innings of play.
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.