Apparently Luis Castillo’s failure to report to the Phillies this morning was a misunderstanding. He thought he had all day today to report rather than to report in time to play in today’s game. Buster Olney says that he had some personal matters to attend to as well. It’s not like he blew the Phillies off.
Be that as it may, Charlie Manuel — while saying that he’s not upset — seems somewhat ticked about it. Todd Zolecki transcribed Manuel’s comments to the media about it earlier this morning — read it here — and says that Manuel “sounded agitated.” The blurb that has been tweeted around was Manuel saying that if it was him in Castillo’s shoes that he “would have been here two days ago.” The more telling thing to me is this:
I was told he’d be here today and I put him in the lineup. And the reason I put him in the lineup is because I wanted to see him play. Maybe I should wait and put my lineup in right at game time. That seems to work better.
It’s not a personal thing or a swipe at Castillo’s work ethic. Manuel seems content to leave that to others. Rather, it’s about a manager who has a hole to fill at second base and limited time in which to do it. If I was Manuel I’d be annoyed too.
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.