The Athletics’ Kurt Suzuki made the defense play of the year, catchers’ division, in last night’s loss to the Mariners. Check it out here.
Catching the ball would have been highlight enough. The fact that he caught it, stayed on his feet, saw Chone Figgins running and then threw a perfect strike down to Kouzmanoff at third made it nothing short of spectacular.
I caught when I played Babe Ruth baseball when I was 15. I wouldn’t have been able to run back to the backstop, pick up the ball I missed by 5 feet, and then run back to the plate before the runner at second was back in the dugout after having scored, gotten a drink and found his glove for the next half inning.
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.