Carlos Beltran’s rehabilitation continues apace. Today, for the first time, he played some center field in an extended spring training game. He also went 3 for 5 with a homer.
I’ve always wondered about “extended spring training.” Who are the other 17 guys the rehabbing star is playing against? Are they any good? Do they make it like simulated games for pitchers and just make up rules to accommodate the player in question or is it a regulation game? I’m assuming the Mets play their extended spring training games in Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Does anyone come to watch them? Do the players go to that same cheesy sports bar around the corner afterward?
I don’t feel like being in Florida in June, but in the interests of journalism, I’d gladly accept an expenses-paid trip down there to cover extended spring training.
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.