Dodgers put AWOL reliever Ronald Belisario on restricted list

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Ronald Belisario thinks he’ll be joining the Dodgers as soon as he finds his passport and his agent thinks he’ll sit out the entire season due to visa issues, but whatever the case he’s a no-show at spring training and has now been placed on the restricted list.

That doesn’t necessarily change Belisario’s status with the team any, but as Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com writes it does allow the Dodgers to remove him from the 40-man roster and, at some point, add another player in his place.

Belisario was also placed on the restricted list for “personal reasons” in the middle of last season and ended up missing two months, with various reports indicating that he spent time in a substance abuse program.

Players can be placed on the restricted list for as long as two consecutive seasons, during which time their team retains their rights, so this is basically an “if he ever shows up again, we still have him” move by the Dodgers.

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.