Doctors say Bryan Stow “has made significant improvement”

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San Francisco General Hospital chief of neurosurgery Dr. Geoff Manley gave a progress report today on Bryan Stow that matches the optimism level expressed by his family last week.

According to the Associated Press, he “has made significant improvement” and “is responding well to surgery last week to replace a missing skull fragment.”

Last week Stow’s family posted on their website that he was able to move his limbs slightly on command and responded to family members being in the room by puckering his lips for a kiss, all of which Manley confirmed in his report today.

Good news all around, although Stow remains in serious condition nearly five months after being brutally beaten outside Dodger Stadium and the full scope of his potential recovery remains unclear.

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.