Great moments in optimism, Angels edition

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Sam Miller writes about the Angels for the OC Register. So he certainly got to see the Halos woof three of four to the Rangers this week and has watched their playoff hopes fall off a cliff since there were only a game and a half back last week.

But he is not one to despair!

Today he has a list of the six reasons why the Angels will win the division.  Reasons like this:

The Angels have about a 6 percent chance of making the playoffs, which is just terrible. But you know what 6 percent is? It’s flipping heads four times in a row. That sounds easy enough. Even Vernon Wells could do that! Even Jeff Mathis could do that, but then he’d probably throw the coin into center field.

Well, maybe not all of the reasons are to be taken totally seriously. And it’s probably worth noting that there are only four reasons, not six.  But still, given how often you hear people complaining about their team’s chances this time of year, it’s refreshing to see some friggin’ optimism, even if it’s unhinged, borderline anti-optimism, for a change.

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.