Milton Bradley’s initial hearing is put off

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Milton Bradley is still charged with making felony threats, but there’s a chance that things are looking up.  As Geoff Baker reports, Bradley’s initial hearing has been postponed until March 9th in lieu of a hearing with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.  It’s apparently a standard thing in domestic violence cases, done after the heat of the initial incident has died down.  At the hearing both Bradley and his alleged victim — his estranged wife — will be interviewed, and then officials will decide whether or not to proceed with the case.

As I noted when this all broke, the law Bradley is charged with violating carries a subjective element. Specifically, his wife had to have taken the threat seriously at the time and had to have been placed “in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety.”  It’s not like there can be hard physical evidence of such things. If so, it would be an assault case or something else.

So, while we have no idea about the facts of this case, we do know that because of the subjectivity of it the law is one that is way harder to charge and prosecute than many others, and may be one that with the passage of time, renders the complained-of behavior less stark than it seemed in the heat of the moment.

All of which is to say that the interview with the D.A. is no mere formality on the way to a prosecution.  The prosecution could very well proceed. Or it could, depending on what the prosecutors hear, end on March 9th.

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.