J.A. Happ will miss his next start with sore elbow

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that J.A. Happ will miss his next scheduled start with what the Phillies are calling “a very mild flexor pronator muscle strain.” In other words, he has a sore elbow.
Happ is slated to throw a bullpen session Thursday, so for now at least the Phillies think he’ll be able to avoid the disabled list. No word yet on who will replace him Saturday against the Diamondbacks, but Joe Blanton likely isn’t ready to come off the disabled list yet and the Phillies already have both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation.
Despite eight walks in 10.1 innings Happ is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts. Coming into the season I was among many people to peg the Rookie of the Year runner-up as a good bet to fall back to earth because of underwhelming strikeout, walk, and ground-ball rates, so the elbow problems simply add to that skepticism. He went 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA as a 26-year-old rookie, but projects more as a mid-rotation starter long term.

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.