Jason Kendall to undergo shoulder surgery after setback

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Jason Kendall, who was expected to soon begin a rehab assignment in the minors, has instead suffered a major setback with his shoulder and will undergo another surgery.

Manager Ned Yost said the procedure would knock him for the rest of this year and perhaps all of next season, potentially ending Kendall’s career.

Kendall first hoped to return in April after undergoing surgery to repair his rotator cuff last September, but his shoulder never proved strong enough.  He resumed hitting last month, and the hope was that he’d begin catching in the minors this month.

The 37-year-old Kendall probably won’t go down without a fight, so even if he is ruled out for next year, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him show up in camp with some club in 2013.  However, if his shoulder is shot, then he’s not going to be of any use to a major league team.  He hasn’t been a decent hitter in five years, and all of the leadership in the world won’t make him worth a roster spot if he’s not going to be a throw out a would-be basestealer now and again.

Kendall, once one of the game’s best catchers with Pirates, is a lifetime .288/.366/.378 hitter with 75 homers and 189 steals in 15 seasons.  He ranks fifth all-time with 2,025 games caught.

Carlos Martínez to work out of Cardinals’ bullpen for rest of season

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When Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez returns from the disabled list, likely some time next week, he will pitch out of the bullpen, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Martínez has been on the disabled list since late July with a strained right shoulder. The plan is still for Martínez to start in 2019 and beyond.

GM John Mozeliak said, “If you’re going to go down that starting path and you’re starting at ground zero, the likelihood of him being back would be sometime in mid-September. And we’ve done that twice this year and ended up in the same place after a few starts.”

Martínez, 26, has a 3.41 ERA and a 98/49 K/BB ratio in 100 1/3 innings across 18 starts this season. The Cardinals’ rotation currently features Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty, John Gant, Luke Weaver, and Austin Gomber.

The Cardinals entered play Monday 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League, so adding Martínez to the bullpen — or, subtracting him from the rotation, depending on how you look at it — could make a significant impact on the club’s playoff chances.