Who cares who catches Mariano Rivera’s 602nd save?

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Mariano Rivera’s next save will break the all-time saves record he currently shares with Trevor Hoffman. Against that backdrop, there has been some general chatter about whether Joe Girardi will let Jorge Posada, Rivera’s longtime batterymate, catch save number 602.  According to Marc Carig of the Star Ledger, Girardi isn’t inclined to do that.

May I note for the record that this sort of thing is something you only hear about with the Yankees?  Really, no one cares about this stuff with any other team, but every time a Yankee is near some milestone or if there’s some other special occasion of some sort the manner of how it is accomplished, not just the accomplishment, becomes an issue.  Who will catch? Will it be at home? It’s like the biggest first world problem of all time.

How about this: Mariano Rivera’s first-ever save came on May 17, 1996 against the Angels. Joe Girardi caught it.  He should activate himself so he can catch it.  If he can’t, we should write columns about how a special moment is being taken from us.

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.