Josh Johnson unlikely to be ready for June 7 target date

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The Marlins had previously hoped that Josh Johnson would be able to return from the disabled list for a start on June 7 against the Braves, but manager Edwin Rodriguez told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel earlier today that it’s doubtful he’ll be ready so soon.

“It’s very uncertain at this point,” Rodriguez said. “It’ll come down to how he feels. We have to wait and see until [Tuesday] and then he will decide when he feels ready to throw a bullpen…We’ve been shuffling some options. I would hate to use the bullpen. That would affect your whole strategy before and after the fact you use the bullpen day.”

Johnson went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 56/20 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts before being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation earlier this month.

The Marlins don’t have many alternatives for the start on June 7, as right-hander Jay Buente was recently claimed off waivers by the Rays. Rodriguez actually used five relievers Saturday against the Dodgers and while the strategy proved successful in a 6-1 victory, they obviously can’t afford to go that route on a regular basis.

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.