Tony La Russa suggested to MLB.com that the Cardinals may be interested in Arthur Rhodes, who was just DFA’d by the Rangers. His comment:
“He’s been a hell of a pro for a long, long time,” La Russa said. “He’s got all our respect. Does that sound like intrigued?”
Word on the street is that La Russa’s interest in Rhodes only bloomed when someone told him that Tony Fossas turns 54-years-old next month. No word, however, on whether La Russa would actually use Rhodes to pitch or if he just wants him around in case he wants to throw the ball at someone’s back.
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.