Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an interesting note about Corey Hart, who had a career-year in 2010 while everyone thought he was wearing contact lenses the Brewers recommended when a spring training physical exam revealed near-sightedness.
However, after struggling to adjust to the contacts so much that he was worried about being released Hart says he “threw them away after spring training” and “never wore the contacts after the season started.”
Not following the team’s recommendation after back-to-back disappointing seasons is an easy way to get in the doghouse, but Hart made that a moot point by hitting .283 with a career-high 31 homers and 102 RBIs, boosting his OPS by 112 points. And in August he signed a three-year, $26.5 million contract extension.
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.