Ryne Sandberg was the Pacific Coast League manager of the year in 2010, but left the Cubs organization after being passed over for the big-league managerial opening and spent this season managing at Triple-A for the Phillies.
Prior to Sandberg’s arrival Lehigh Valley had never finished above .500 since coming into existence in 2008, but he managed the IronPigs into the International League playoffs.
Sandberg’s previous success managing in the minors didn’t help him much when it came to landing a prominent spot on a major-league coaching staff, but at some point you’d think the Hall of Famer would get an opportunity. And with the Cubs firing general manager Jim Hendry and perhaps firing Mike Quade after the season Sandberg will probably be linked to that job again.
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.